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For why ? Because the good old rule 

Sufficeth them ; the simple plan, 
That they should take who have the power, 

And they should keep who can. 

Rob Roys (Prflw.— Wordsworth. 


When the author projected this further encroachment on the 
patience of an indulgent public, he was at some loss for a title ; 
a good name being very nearly of as much consequence in litera- 
ture as in life. The title of Rob Roy was suggested by the late 
Mr. Constable, whose sagacity and experience foresaw the germ of 
popularity which it included. 

No introduction can be more appropriate to the work than some 
account of the singular character whose name is given to the title- 
page, and who, through good report and bad report, has maintained 
a wonderful degree of importance in popular recollection. This 
cannot be ascribed to the distinction of his birth, which, though 
that of a gentleman, had in it nothing of high destination, and 
gave him little right to command in his clan. Neither, though he 
lived a busy, restless, and enterprising life, were his feats equal to 
those of other freebooters who have been less distinguished. He 
owed his fame in a great measure to his residing on the very verge 
of the Highlands, and playing such pranks in the beginning of the 
1 8th century, as are usually ascribed to Robin Hood in the middle 
ages, — and that within forty miles of Glasgow, a great commercial 
city, the seat of a learned university. Thus a character like his, 
blending the wild virtues, the subtle policy, and unrestrained 
licence of an American Indian, was flourishing in Scotland during 
the Augustan age of Queen Anne and George I. Addison, it is 
probable, or Pope, would have been considerably surprised if they 
had known that there existed in the same island with them a per- 
sonage of Rob Roy's peculiar habits and profession. It is this 
strong contrast betwixt the civilized and cultivated mode of life on 
the one side of the Highland line, and the wild and lawless 
adventures which were habitually undertaken and achieved by one 
who dwelt on the opposite side of that ideal boundary, which 


creates the interest attached to his name. Hence it is that 
even yet, 

" Far and near, through vale and hill, 
Are faces that attest the same, 
And kindle like a fire new stirr'd, 
At sound of Rob Roy's name." 

There were several advantages which Rob Roy enjoyed, for sus- 
taining to advantage the character which he assumed. 

The most prominent of these was his descent from, and con- 
nexion with, the clan MacGregor, so famous for their misfortunes, 
and the indomitable spirit with which they maintained themselves 
as a clan, linked and banded together in spite of the most severe' 
laws, executed with unheard-of rigour against those who bore this 
forbidden surname. Their history was that of several others of 
the original Highland clans, who were suppressed by more powerful 
neighbours, and either extirpated, or forced to secure themselves 
by renouncing their own family appellation, and assuming that of 
the conquerors. The peculiarity in the story of the MacGregors, 
is their retaining, with such tenacity, their separate existence and 
union as a clan under circumstances of the utmost urgency. 
The history of the tribe is briefly as follows : But we must premise 
that the tale depends in some degree on tradition ; therefore, 
excepting when written documents are quoted, it must be consi- 
dered as in some degree dubious. 

The sept of MacGregor claimed a descent from Gregor, or Gre- 
gorius, third son, it is said, of Alpin, King of Scots, who flourished 
about 787. Hence their original patronymic is MacAlpine, and 
they are usually termed the Clan Alpine. An individual tribe of 
them retains the same name. They are accounted one of the most 
ancient clans in the Highlands, and it is certain they were a people 
of original Celtic descent, and occupied atone period very exten- 
sive possessions in Perthshire and Argyleshire, which they impru- 
dently continued to hold by the coir a glaive, that is, the right of 
the sword. Their neighbours, the Earls of Argyle and Breadal- 
bane, in the meanwhile, managed to have the lands occupied by 
the Mac6regors engrossed in those charters which they easily 
obtained from the Crown ; and thus constituted a legal right in 
their own favour, without much regard to its justice. As opportu- 
nity occurred of annoying or extirpating their neighbours, they gra- 
dually extended their own domains, by usurping, under the pretext 
of such royal grants, those of their more uncivilized neighbours. A 
Sir Duncan Campbell, of Lochow, known in the Highlands by the 
name of Donacha Dhu' nan Churraichd, that is. Black Duncan . 
with the Cowl, it being his pleasure to wear such a head-gear, is 


said to have been peculiarly successful in those acts of spoliation 
upon the clan MacGregor. 

The devoted sept, ever finding themselves iniquitously driven 
from their possessions, defended themselves by force, and occa- 
sionally gained advantages, which they used cruelly enough. This 
conduct, though natural, considering the country and time, was 
studiously represented at the capital as arising from an untameable 
and innate ferocity, which nothing, it was said, could remedy, save 
cutting off the tribe of MacGregor root and branch. 

In an act of Privy Council at Stirling, 22nd September 1563, in 
the reign of Queen Mary, commission is granted to the most pow- 
erful nobles, and chiefs of the clans, to pursue the clan Gregor with 
fire and sword. A similar warrant in 1563, not only gra,nts the like 
powers to Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, the descendant of 
Duncan with the Cowl, but discharges the lieges to receive or assist 
any of the clan Gregor, or afford them, under any colour what- 
ever, meat, drink, or clothes. 

An atrocity which the clan Gregor committed in 1589, by 'the 
murder of John Drummond of Drummond-ernoch, a forester of the 
royal forest of Glenartney, is elsewhere given, with all its horrid 
' circumstances. The clan swore upon the severed head of the 
murdered man, that they would make common cause in avowing 
the deed. This led to an act of the Privy Council, directing another 
crusade against the "wicked clan Gregor, so long continuing in 
blood, slaughter, theft, and robbery," in which letters of fire and 
sword are denounced -against them for the space of three years. 
The reader will find this particular fact illustrated in the Introduc- 
tion to the Legend of Montrose in the present edition of these 

Other occasions frequently occurred, in which the MacGregors 
testified contempt for the laws, from which they had often experi- 
enced severity, but never protection. Though they were gradually 
deprived of their possessions, and of all ordinary means of procuring 
subsistence, they could not, nevertheless, be supposed likely to 
starve for famine, while they had the means of taking from stran- 
gers what they considered as rightfully their own. Hence they 
became versed in predatory forays, and accustomed to bloodshed. 
Their passions were eager, and, with a little management on the 
part of some of their most powerful neighbours, they could easily 
be hounded out, to use an expressive Scottish phrase, to commit 
violence, of which the wily instigators took the advantage, and left 
the ignorant MacGregors an undivided portion of blame and pun- 
ishment. This policy of pushing on the fierce clans of the High- 
lands and Borders to break the peace of the country, is accounted 


by the historian one of the most dangerous practices of his own 
period, in which the MacGregors were considered as ready agents. 

Notwithstanding these severe denunciations, which were acted 
upon in the same spirit in which they were conceived, some of the 
clan still possessed property, and the chief of the name in 1592 is 
designed AUaster MacGregor of Glenstrae. He is said to have 
been a brave and active man ; but, from the tenor of his confession 
at his death, appears to have been engaged in many and desperate 
feuds, one of which finally proved fatal to himself and many of his 
followers. This was the celebrated conflict at Glenfruin, near the 
south-western extremity of Loch Lomond, in the vicinity of which 
the MacGregors continued to exercise much authority by the coir 
a glaive, or right of the strongest, which we have already men- 

There had been a long and bloody fead betwixt the MacGre- 
gors and the Laird of Luss, head of the family of Colquhoun, a 
powerful race on the lower part of Loch Lomond. The MacGre- 
gors' tradition affirnis that the quarrel began on a very trifling sub- 
ject. Two of the MacGregors being benighted, asked shelter in a 
house belonging to a dependent of the Colquhouns, and were 
refused. They then retreated to an out-house, took a wedder from 
the fold, killed it, and supped off the carcass, for which (it is said) 
they offered payment to the proprietor. The Laird of Luss seized 
on the offenders, and by the summary process which feudal barons 
had at their command, had them both condemned and executed. 
The MacGregors verify this account of the feud by appealing to a 
proverb current amongst them, execrating the hour {Mult dhu an 
Carbail ghil) that the black wedder with the white tail was ever 
lambed. To avenge this quarrel, the Laird of MacGregor assembled 
his clan, to the number of three or four hundred men, and marched 
towards Luss from the banks of Loch Long, by a pass called Raid 
na Gael, or the Highlandman's Pass. 

Sir Humphrey Colquhoun received early notice of this incursion, 
and collected a strong force, more than twice the number of that of 
the invaders. He had with him the gentlemen of the name of 
Buchanan, with the Grahams, and other gentry of the Lennox, and 
a party of the citizens of Dumbarton, under command of Tobias 
Smollett, a magistrate, or bailie, of that town, and ancestor of the 
celebrated author. 

The parties met in the valley of Glenfruin, which signifies the 
Glen of Sorrow, a name that seemed to anticipate the event of the 
day, which, fatal to the conquered party, was at least equally so to 
the victors, the " babe unborn " of clan Alpine having reason to 
repent it. The MacGregors, somewhat discouraged by the appear- 


ance of a force much superior to their own, were cheered on to the 
attack by a Seer, or second-sighfed person, who professed that he 
saw the shrouds of the dead wrapt around their principal opponents. 
The clan charged with great fury on the front of the enemy, whih; 
John MacGregor, with a strong party, made an unexpected attack 
on the flank. A great part of the Colquhouns' force consisted in 
cavalry, which could not act in the boggy ground. They were said 
to have disputed the field manfully, but were at length completely 
routed, and a merciless slaughter was exercised on the fugitives, of 
whom betwixt two and three hundred fell on the field and in the 
pursuit. If the MacGregors lost, as is averred, only two men 
slain in the action, they had slight provocation for an indiscriminate 
massacre. It is said that their fury extended itself to a party of 
students for clerical orders, who had imprudently come to see the 
battle. Some doubt is thrown on this fact, from the indictment 
against the chief of the clan Gregor being silent on the subject, as 
is the historian Johnston, and a Professor Ross, who wrote an 
accouiit of the battle twenty-nine years after it was fought. It is, 
however, constantly averred by the tradition of the country, and a 
stone where the deed was done is called Leck-a-MIiinisteir, the 
Minister or Clerk's Flag-stone. The MacGregors impute this 
cruel action to the ferocity of a single man of their tribe, renowned 
for size and strength, called Dugald, Ciar Mhor, orthe'great Mouse- 
coloured Man. He was MacGregor's foster-brother, and the chief 
committed the youths to his, charge, with directions to keep them 
safely till the affray was over. Whether fearful of their escape, or 
incensed by some sarcasms which they threw on his tribe, or 
whether out of mere thirst of blood, this savage, while the other 
MacGregors were engaged in the pursuit, poniarded his helpless and 
defenceless prisoners. When the chieftain, on his return, demanded 
where the youths were, the Ciar (pronounced Kiar) Mhor drew out 
his bloody dirk, saying in Gaelic, " Ask that, and God save me ! " 
The latter words allude to the exclamation which his victims used 
when he was murdering them. It would seem, therefore, that this 
horrible part of the story is founded on fact, though the number 
of the youths so slain is probably exaggerated in the Lowland 
accounts. The common people say that the blood of the Ciar 
Mhor's victims can never be washed off the stone. When Mac- 
Gregor learnt their fate, he- expressed the utmost horror at the 
deed, and upbraided his foster-brother with having done that which 
would occasion the destruction of him and his clan. This homicide 
was the ancestor of Rob Roy, and the tribe from which he was de- 
scended. He lies buried at the church of Fortingal, where his 
sepulchre, covered with a large stone,* is still shown, and where 


his great strength and. courage are the theme of many tradi- 

MacGregorls brother was one of the very few of the tribe who 
was slain. He was buried near the field of battle, and the 
place is marked by a rude stone, called the Grey stone of Mac- 

Sir Humphrey Colquhoun, being well mounted, escaped for the 
time to the Castle of Banochar, or Benechra. It' proved no sure 
defence, however, for he was shortly after murdered in a vault of 
the castle, the family annals say by the MacGregors, though other 
accounts charge the deed upon the MacFarlanes. 

This battle of Glenfruin, and the severity which the victors exer- 
cised in the pursuit, was reported to King ' James VI. in a manner 
the most unfavourable to the clan Gregor, whose general character, 
being that of lawless though brave men, could not much avail them 
in such a case. That James might fully understand the extent of 
the slaughter, the widows of the slain, to the number of. eleven 
score, in deep mourning, riding upon white palfreys, aijd each 
bearing her husband's bloody shirt on a spear, appeared at 
Stirling, in presence of a monarch peculiarly a'ccessible to such 
sights of fear and sorrow, to demand vengeance for the death of 
their husbands, upon those by whom they had been made 

The remedy resorted to was £vt least as severe as the cruelties 
which it was designed to punish. By an act of the Privy Council, 
dated 3d April, 1603, the name of MacGregor was expressly abo- 
lished, and those who had hitherto borne it were commanded, to 
change it for other surnames, the pain of death being denounced 
against those who should call themselves Gregor or MacGregor, 
the names of their fathers. Under the same penalty, all who had 
been at the conflict of Glenfruin, or accessory to other marauding 
parties charged in the act, were prohibited from carrying weapons, 
except a pointless knife to eat their victuals. By a subsequent act of 
Council, 24th June, 1613, death was denounced against any persons 
of the tribe formerly called MacGregor, who should presume to 
assemble in greater numbers than four. Again, by an act of Par- 
liament, 1617, chap. 26, these laws were continued, and extended- 
to the rising generation, in respect that great numbers of the chil- 
dren of those against whom the acts of Privy Council had been 
directed, were stated to be then approaching to maturity, who, if 
permitted to resume the name of their pjirents, would render the 
clan as strong as it was before. 

The execution of those severe acts was chiefly intrusted in the 
west to the Earl of Argyle, and the powerful clan of Campbell, and 


to the Earl of Athole and his followers in the more eastern High- 
lands of Perthshire. The MacGregors failed not to resist with the 
most determined courage ; and many a valley in the West and 
North Highlands retains memory of the severe conflicts, in which 
the proscribed clan sometimes obtained transient advantages, and 
always sold their lives dearly. At length the pride of Allaster 
MacGregor, the chief of the clan, was so much lowered by the 
sufferings of his people, that he resolved to surrender himself to the 
Earl of Argyle, with his principal followers, on condition that they 
should be sent out of Scotland. If the unfortunate Chief's own 
account be true, he had more reasons than one for expecting some 
favour from the Earl, who had in secret advised and encouraged 
him to many of the desperate actions for which he was now called 
to so severe a reckoning. But Argyle, as old Birrell expresses him- 
self, kept a Highlandman's promise with them, fulfilling it to the 
ear, and breaking it to the sense. MacGregor was sent under a 
strong guard to the frontier of England, and being thus, in the 
literal sense, sent out of Scotland, Argyle was judged to have kept 
faith with him, though the same party which took him there brought 
him back to Edinburgh in custody. 

MacGregor of Glenstrae was tried before the Court of Justiciary, 
20th January, 1604, and found guilty. He appears to have been 
instantly conveyed from the bar to the gallows ; for Birrell, of the 
same date, reports that he was hanged at the Cross, and, for dis- 
tinction's sake, was suspended higher by his own height than two 
of his kindred and friends. On the i8th of February following, 
more men of the MacGregors were executed, after a long imprison- 
ment, and several others in the beginning of March. 

The Earl of Argyle's service, in conducing to the surrender of the 
insolent and wicked race and name of MacGregor, notorious 
common malefactors, and in the in-bringing of MacGregor, with a 
great many of the leading men of the clan, worthily executed to 
death for their offences, is thankfully acknowledged by act of Par- 
liament, 1607, chap. 16, and rewarded with a grant of twenty 
chalders of victual out of the lands of Kintire. 

The MacGregors, notwithstanding the letters of fire and sword, 
and orders for military execution repeatedly directed against them 
by the Scottish legislature, who apparently lost all the calmness of 
conscious dignity and security, and could not even name the out- 
lawed clan without vituperation, showed no inclination to be blotted 
out of the roll of clanship. They submitted to the law, indeed, so 
far as to take the names of the neighbouring families amongst 
whom they happened to live, nominally becoming, as the case 
might render it most convenient, Drummonds, Campbells, Grahams,* 


Buchanans, Stewarts, and the hke ; but to all intents and purposes 
of combination and mutual attachment, they remained the clan 
Gregor, united together for right or wrong, and menacing with the 
general vengeance of their race, whomsoever committed aggressions 
against any individual of their number. 

They continued to take and give offence with as little hesitation 
as before the legislative dispersion which had been attempted, as 
appears from the preamble to statute 1633, chapter 30, setting forth 
that the clan Gregor, which had been suppressed and reduced to 
quietness by the great care of the late King James of eternal memory, 
had nevertheless broken out again, in the counties of Perth, Stir- 
ling, Clackmannan, Monteith, Lennox, Angus, and Mearns ; for 
which reason the statute re-establishes the disabilities attached to 
the clan, and grants a new commission for enforcing the laws 
against that wicked and rebellious race. 

Notwithstanding the extreme severities of King James I. and 
Charles I. against this unfortunate people, who were rendered 
furious by proscription, and then punished for yielding to the pas- 
sions which had Iseen wilfully irritated, the MacGregors to a man 
attached themselves during the civil war to the cause of the latter 
monarch. Their bards have ascribed this to the native respect of 
the MacGregors for the crown of Scotland, which their ancestors 
once wore, and have appealed to their armorial bearings, which 
display a pine-tree crossed saltire wise with a naked sword, the 
point of which supports a royal crown. But, without denying that 
such motives may have had their weight, we are disposed to think, 
that a war which opened the low country to the raids of the clan 
Gregor would have more charms for them than any inducement to 
espouse the cause of the Covenanters, which would have brought 
them into contact with Highlanders as fierce as themselves, and 
having as little to lose. Patrick MacGregor, their leader, was the 
son of a distinguished chief, named Duncan Abbarach, to whom 
Montrose wrote letters as to his trusty and special friend, express- 
ing his reliance on his devoted loyalty, with an assurance, that 
when once his Majesty's affairs were placed upon a permanent 
footing, the grievances of the clan MacGregor should be redressed. 

At a subsequent period of these melancholy times, we find the 
clan Gregor claiming the immunities of other tribes, when sum- 
moned by the Scottish Parliament to resist the invasion of the 
Commonwealth's army, in 165 1. On the last day of March in that 
year, a supplication to the King and Parliament, from Calum Mac- 
Condachie Vich Euen, and Euen MacCondachie Euen, in their 
own name, and that of the whole, name of MacGregor, set forth, 
that while, in obedience to the orders of Parliament, enjoining all 


clans to come out in the present service under their chieftains, for 
the defence of religion, king, and kingdoms, the petitioners were 
drawing their men to guard the passes at the head of the river 
Forth, they were interfered with by the Earl of Athole and the 
Laird of Buchanan, who had required the attendance of many 
of the clan Gregor upon their arrays. This intei-ference was, 
doubtless, owing to the change of name, which seems to have given 
rise to the claim of the Earl of Athole and the Laird of Buchanan 
to muster the MacGregors under their banners, as Murrays or 
Buchanans. It does not appear that the petition of the Mac- 
Gregors, to be permitted to come in a body as other clans, received 
any answer. But upon the Restoration, King Charles, in the first 
Scottish Parliament of his reign (statute 1661, chap. 195), annulled 
the various acts against the clan Gregor, and restored them to the 
full use of their family name, and the other privileges of liege sub- 
jects, setting forth, as a reason for this lenity, that those who were 
formerly designed MacGregors, had, during the late troubles, con- 
ducted themselves with such loyalty and affection to his Majesty, 
as might justly wipe off all memory of former miscarriages, and 
take away all marks of reproach for the same. 

It is singular enough, that it seems to have aggravated the feel- 
ings of the non-conforming Presbyterians, when the penalties which 
were most unjustly imposed upon themselves were relaxed towards 
the poor MacGregors ; so little are the best men, any more than 
the worst, able to judge with impartiality of the same measures, as 
applied to themselves, or to others. Upon the Restoration, an in- 
fluence inimical to this unfortunate clan, said to be the same with 
that which afterwards dictated the massacre of Glencoe, occasioned 
the re-enaction of the penal statutes against the MacGregors. 
There are no reasons given why these highly penal acts should 
have been renewed ; nor is it alleged that the clan had been guilty 
of late irregularities. Indeed, there is some reason to think that 
the clause was formed of set purpose, in a shape which should 
elude observation ; for, though containing conclusions fatal 'to the 
rights of so many Scottish subjects, it is neither mentioned in the 
title nor the rubric of the Act of Parliament in which it occurs, 
and is thrown briefly in at the close of the statute 1693, chap. 61, 
entitled, an Act for the Justiciary in the Highlands. 

It does not, however, appear that after the Revolution the acts 
against the clan were severely enforced ; and in the latter half of 
the eighteenth century, they were not enforced at all. Commis- 
sioners of supply were named in Parliament by the proscribed title 
of MacGregor, and decrees of courts of justice were pronounced, 
and legal deeds entered into, under the same appellative. The 


MacGregors, however, while the laws continued in the statute-book, 
still suffered under the deprivation of the name which was their 
birthright, and some attempts were made for the purpose of adopt- 
ing another, MacAlpine or Grant being proposed as the title of the 
whole clan in future. No agreement, however, could be entered 
into ; and the evil was submitted to as a matter of necessity, until 
full redress was obtained from the British Parliament, by an act 
abolishing for ever ths penal statutes which had been so long im- 
posed upon this ancient race. This statute, well merited by the 
services of many a gentleman of the clan in behalf of their King 
and country, was passed, and the clan proceeded to act upon it 
with the same spirit Of ancient times, which had made them suffer 
severely under a deprivation that would have been deemed of little 
consequence by a great part of their fellow subjects. 

They entered into a deed recognising John Murray of Lanrick, 
Esq. (afterwards Sir John MacGregor, Baronet), representative of 
the family of Glencarnock, as lawfully descended from the ancient 
stock and blood of the Lairds and Lords of MacGregor, and there- 
fore acknowledged him as their chief on all lawful occasions and 
causes whatsoever. This deed was subscribed by eight hundred 
and twenty-six persons of the name of MacGregor, capable of bear- 
ing arms. A great many of the clan during the last war formed 
themselves into what was called the Clan Alpine regiment, raised 
in 1799, under the command of their Chief, and his brother Colonel 

Having briefly noticed the history of this clan, which presents a 
rare and interesting example of the indelible character o'f the patri- 
archal system, the author must now offer some notices of the indi- 
vidual who gives name to these volumes. 

In giving an account of a Highlander, his pedigree is first to be 
considered. That of Rob Roy was deduced from Ciar Mhor, the 
great mouse-coloured man, who is accused by tradition of having 
slain the young students at the battle of Glenfruin. 

Without puzzling ourselves and our readers with the intricacies 
of Highland genealogy, it is enough to say, that after the death of 
AUaster MacGregor, of Glenstrae, the clan, discouraged by the un- 
remitting persecution of their enemies, seem not to have had the 
means of placing themselves under the command of a single CHIEF. 
According to their places of residence and immediate descent, the 
several families were led and directed by Chieftains, which, in the 
Highland acceptation, signifies the head of, a particular branch of 
a tribe, in opposition to Chief, who is the leader and commander of 
the whole name. 

The family and descendants of Dugald Ciar Mhor lived chiefly 


ir, the mountains between Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine, and 
occupied a good deal of property there, whether by sufferance, by 
the right of the sword, which it was never safe to dispute with 
them, or by legal titles of' various kinds, it would be useless to in- 
quire and unnecessary to detail. Enough ; there they certainly 
were ; a people whom their most powerful neighbours were desirous 
to conciliate, their friendship in peace being very necessary to the 
quiet of the vicinage, and their assistance in war equally prompt 
and effectual. 

Rob Roy MacGregor Campbell, which last name he bore in con- 
sequence of the acts of Parliament abolishing his own, was the 
younger son of Donald MacGregor of Glengyle, said to have been 
a Lieutenant-Colonel (probably in the service of James II.), by his 
wife, a daughter of Campbell of Glenfalloch. Rob's own designa- 
tion was of Inversnaid ; but he appears to have acquired a right of 
some kind or other to the property or possession of Craig Royston, 
a domain of rock and forest, lying on the east side of Loch Lo- 
mond, where that beautiful lake stretches into the dusky mountains 
of Glenfalloch. 

The time of his birth is uncertain. But he is said to have been 
active in the scenes of war and plunder which succeeded the Revo- 
lution ; and tradition affirms him to have been the leader in a pre- 
datory incursion into the parish of Kippen, in the Lennox, which 
took place in the year 1691. It was of almost a bloodless cha- 
racter, only one person losing his life ; but from the extent of the 
depredation, it was long distinguished by the name of the Her"- 
ship, or devastation, of Kippen.* The time of his death is also 
uncertain, but as he is said to have survived the year 1733, and 
died an aged man, it is probable ' he may have been twenty-five 
about the time of the Her'-ship of Kippen, which would assign his 
birth to the middle of the 17th century. 

In the more quiet times which succeeded the Revolution, Rob 
Roy, or Red Robert, seems to have exerted his active talents, 
which were of no mean order, as a drover, or trader in cattle, to a 
great extent. It may well be supposed that in those days no Low- 
land, much less English drovers, ventured to enter the Highlands. 
The cattle, which were the staple commodity of the mountains, 
were escorted down to fairs, on the borders of the Lowlands, by a 
party of Highlanders, with their arms rattling around them ; and 
who dealt, however, in all honour and good faith with their Southern 
' customers. A fray, indeed, would sometimes arise, -when the Low- 
landmen, chiefly Borderers, who had to supply the English market, 
used to dip their bonnets in the next brook, and wrapping them 
round their hands, oppose their cudgels to the naked broadswords, 


which had not always the superiority. I have heard from aged 
persons, who had been engaged in such affrays, that the Highlanders 
used remarkably fair play, never using the point of the sword, far 
less their pistols or daggers ; so that 

With many a stiff thwack and many a bang, 
Hard crabtree and cold iron rang. 

A slash or two, or a broken head, was easily accommodated, and 
as the trade was of benefit to both parties, trifling skirmishes were 
not allowed to interrupt its harmony. Indeed it was of vital in- 
terest to the Highlanders, whose income, so far as derived from 
their estates, depended entirely on the sale of black cattle ; and a 
sagacious and experienced dealer benefited not only himself, but his 
friends and neighbours, by his speculations. Those of Rob Roy 
were for several years so successful as to inspire general confi- 
dence, and raise him in the estimation of the country in which he 

His importance was increased by the death of his father, in con- 
sequence of which he succeeded to the management of his nephew 
Gregor MacGregor of Glengyle's property, and, as his tutor, to 
such influence with the clan and following as was due to the repre- 
sentative of Dougal Ciar. Such influence was the more uncon- 
trolled, that this family of the MacGregors seem to have refused 
adherence to MacGregor of Glencarnock, the ancestor of the pre- 
sent Sir Ewan MacGregor, and asserted a kind of independence. 

It was at this time that Rob Roy acquired an interest by pur- 
chase, wadset, or otherwise, to the property of Craig Royston 
already mentioned. He was in particular favour, during this pros- 
perous period of his life, with his nearest and most powerful 
neighbour, James first Duke of Montrose, from whom he received 
many marks of regard. His Grace consented to give his nephew 
arid himself a right of property on the estates of Glengyle and In- 
versnaid, which they had till then only held as kindly tenants. The 
Duke, also, with a view to the interest of the country and his own 
estate, supported our adventurer by loans of money to a consider- 
able amount, to enable him to carry on his speculations in the 
cattle trade. 

Unfortunately, that species of commerce was and is liable to 
sudden fluctuations ; and Rob Roy was — by a sudden depression 
of markets, and, as a friendly tradition adds, by the bad faith of a 
partner named MacDonald, whom he had imprudently received 
into his confidence, and intrusted with a considerable sum of 
money — rendered totally insolvent. He absconded, of course, — 
not empty-handed, if it be true, as stated in an advertisement for 


his apiJieliension, that he had in his possession sums to the amount 
of ^1000 sterhng, obtained from several noblemen and gentlemen 
under pretence of purchasing cows for them in the Highlands. 
This advertisement appeared in June 1712, and was several times 
repeated. It fixes the period when Rob Roy exchanged his com- 
mercial adventures for speculations of a very different complexion.* 

He appears at this period first to have removed, from his 
ordinary dwelling at Inversnaid, ten or twelve Scots miles (which 
is double the number of English) farther into the Highlands, and 
commenced the lawless sort of life which he afterwards followed. 
The Duke of Montrose, who conceived himself deceived and 
cheated by MacGregor's conduct, employed legal means to recover 
the money lent to him. Rob Roy's landed property was attached 
by the regular form of legal procedure, and his stock and furniture 
made the subject of arrest and sale. 

It is said that this diligence of the law, as it is called in Scotland, 
which the English more bluntly term distress, was used in this 
case with uncommon severity, and that the legal satellites, not 
usually the gentlest persons in the world, had insulted MacGregor's 
wife, in a manner which would have aroused a milder man than he 
to thoughts of unbounded vengeance. She was a woman of fierce 
and haughty temoer, and is not unlikely to have disturbed the 
officers in the execution of their duty, and thus to have incurred ill 
treatment, though, for the sake of humanity, it is to be hoped that 
the story sometimes told is a popular exaggeration. It is certain 
that she felt extreme anguish at being expelled from the banks of 
Loch Lomond, and gave vent to her feeUngs in a fine piece of 
pipe-music, still well known to amateurs by the name of " Rob 
Roy's Lament." 

The fugitive is thought to have found his first place of refuge in 
Glen Dochart, under the Earl of Breadalbane's protection ; for 
though that family had been active agents in the destruction of the 
MacGregors in former times, they had of late years sheltered a 
great many of the name in their old possessions. The Duke of 
Argyle was also one of Rob Roy's protectors, so far as to afford 
him, according to the Highland phrase, wood and water — the 
shelter, namely, that is afiforded by the forests and lakes of an 
inaccessible country. 

The great men of the Highlands in that time, besides being 
anxiously ambitious to keep up what was called their Following, or 
military retainers, were also desirous to have at their disposal men 
of resolute character, to whom the world and the world's law were 
no friends, and who might at times ravage the lands or destroy the 
tenants of a feudal enemy, without bringing responsibility on their 



patrons. The strife between the names of Campbell and Graham, 
during the civil wars of the seventeenth century, had been stamped 
with mutual loss and inveterate enmity. The death of the great 
Marquis of Montrose on the one side, the defeat at Inverlochy, and 
cruel plundering of Lome, on the other, were reciprocal injuries 
not likely to be forgotten. Rob Roy was, therefore, sure of refuge 
in the country of the Campbells, both as having assumed thejr 
name, as connected by his mother with the family of Glenfalloch, 
and as an enemy to the rival house of Montrose. The extent of 
Argyle's possessions, and the power of retreating thither in any 
emergency, gave great encouragement to the bold schemes of 
revenge which he had adopted. 

This was nothing short of the maintenance of a predatory war 
against the Duke of Montrose, whom h« considered as the author 
of his exclusion from civil society, and of the outlawry to which he 
had been sentenced by letters of horning and caption (legal writs 
so called), as well as the seizure of his goods, and adjudication of 
his landed property. Against his Grace, therefore, his tenants, 
friends, allies, and relatives, he disposed himself to employ every 
means of annoyance in his power ; and though this was a circle 
sufficiently extensive for active depredation, Rob, who professed 
himself a Jacobite, took the liberty of extending his sphere of 
operations against all whom he chose to consider as friendly to the 
revolutionary government, or to that most obnoxious of measures — 
the Union of the Kingdoms. Under one or other of these pretexts, 
all his neighbours of the Lowlands who had anything to lose, or 
were unwilling to compound for security by paying him an annual 
sum for protection or forbearance, were exposed to his ravages. 

The country in which this private warfare, or system of depreda- 
tion, was to be carried on, was, until opened up by roads, in tlie 
highest degree favourable for his purpose. It was broken up into 
narrow valleys, the habitable part of which bore no proportion to 
the huge wildernesses of forest, rocks, and precipices by which they 
were encircled, and which was, moreover, full of inextricable passes, 
morasses, and natural strengths, unknown to any but the inhabi- 
tants themselves, where a few men acquainted with the ground 
■were capable, with ordinary address, of baffling the pursuit of 

The opinions and habits of the nearest neighbours to the High- 
land line were also highly favourable to Rob Roy's purpose. A 
large proportion of them were of his own clan of MacGregor, who 
claimed the property of Balquhidder, and other Highland districts, 
as having been part of the ancient possessions of their tribe ; 
though the har^h laws, under the severity of which they had suffered 


SO deeply, had assigned the ownership to other families. The civil 
wars of the seventeenth century had accustomed these men to the 
use of arms, and, they were peculiarly brave and fierce from 
remembrance of their sufferings. The vicinity of a comparatively 
rich Lowland district gave also great temptations to incursion. 
Many belonging to other clans, habituated to contempt of industry, 
and to the use of arms, drew towards an unprotected frontier which 
promised facility of plunder ; and the state of the country, now 
so peaceable and quiet, verified at that time the opinion which 
Dr. Johnson heard with doubt and suspicion, that the most dis- 
orderly and lawless districts of the Highlands were those which lay 
nearest to the Lowland line. There was, therefore, no difficulty in 
Rob Roy, descended of a tribe which was widely dispersed in the 
country we have described, collecting any number of followers 
whom he might be able to keep in action, and to maintain by his 
proposed operations. 

He himself appears to have been singularly adapted for the pro- 
fession which he proposed to exercise. His stature was not of the 
tallest, but his person was uncommonly strong and compact. The 
greatest peculiarities of his frame were the breadth of his shoulders, 
and the great and almost disproportioned length of his arms ; so 
remarkable, indeed, that it was said he could, without stooping, tie 
the garters of his Highland hose, which are placed two inches 
below the knee. His countenance was open, manly, stern at periods 
of danger, but frank and cheerful in his hours of festivity. His 
hair was dark red, thick, and frizzled, and curled short around the 
face. His fashion of dress showed, of course, the knees and upper 
part of the leg, which was described to me as resembling that of a 
Highland bull, hirsute, with red hair, and evincing muscular 
strength similar to that animal. To these personal qualifications 
must be added a masterly use of the Highland sword, in which his 
length of arm gave him great advantage, and a perfect and intimate 
knowledge of all the recesses of the wild country in which he 
harboured, and the character of the various individuals, whether 
friendly or hostile, with whom he might come in contact. 

His mental qualities seem to have been no less adapted to the 
circumstances in which he was placed. Though the descendant of 
the blood-thirsty Ciar Mhor, he inherited none of his ancestor's 
ferocity. On the contrary, Rob Roy avoided every appearance of 
cruelty, and it is not averred that he was ever the means of un- 
necessary bloodshed, or the actor in any deed which could lead the 
way to it. His schemes of plunder were contrived and executed 
with equal boldness and sagacity, and were almost universally 
successful, from the skill with which they were laid, and the secrecy 

E 2 


and rapidity with which they were executed. Like Robin Hood of 
England, he was a kind and gentle robber, and, while he took from 
the rich, was liberal in relieving the poor. This might in part be 
policy ; but the universal tradition of the country speaks it to have 
arisen from a better motive. All whom I have conversed with, and 
I have in my youth seen some who knew Rob Roy personally, gave 
him the character of a benevolent and humane man " in his way." 
His ideas of morality were those of an Arab chief, being such as 
naturally arose out of his wild education. Supposing Rob Roy to 
have argued on the tendency of the life which he pursued, whether 
from choice or from necessity, he would doubtless have assumed 
to himself the character of a brave man, who, deprived of his 
natural rights by the partiality of laws, endeavoured to assert them 
by the strong hand of natural power ; and he is most felicitously 
described as reasoning thus, in the high-toned poetry of my gifted 
friend Wordsworth : 

Say, then, that he was wise as brave. 

As wise in thought as bold in deed ; 
For in the principles of things 

He sought his moral creed. 

Said generous Rob, " What need of Books ? 

Burn all the statutes and their shelves ! 
They stir us up against our kind. 

And" worse, against ourselves. 

" We have a passion, make a law, 

Too false to guide us or control ; 
And for the law itself we fight 

In bitterness of soul. 

" And puzzled, blinded, then we lose 

Distinctions that are plain and few ; 
These find I graven on my heart, 

That tells me what to do. 

" The creatures see of flood and field, 

And those that travel on the wind ; 
With them no strife can last ; they live 

In peace, and peace of mind. 

" For why ? Because the good old rule 

SufBceth them ; the simple plan. 
That they should take who have the power, 

And they should keep who can. 

" A lesson which is quickly learn'd, 

A signal through which all can see ; 
Thus, nothing here provokes the strong 

To wanton cruelty. 


" And freakishness of mind is check'd, 

He tamed who foolishly aspires, 
While to the measure of his might 

Each fashions his desires. 

" All kinds and creatures stand and fall 

By strength of prowess or of wit ; 
'Tis God's appointment who must sway, 

And who is to submit. 

" Since t'hen," said Robin, " right is plain, 

And longest life is but a day. 
To have my ends, maintain my rights, 

I'll take the shortest way." 

And thus among these rocks he lived. 

Through summer's heat and winter's snow : 

The eagle, he was lord above, 
And Rob was lord below. 

We are not, however, to suppose the character of this dis- 
tinguished outlaw to be that of an actual hero, acting uniformly 
and consistently on such moral principles as the illustrious bard 
who, standing by his grave, has vindicated his fame. On the 
contrary, as is common with barbarous chiefs, Rob Roy appears to 
have mixed his professions of principle with a large alloy of craft 
and dissimulation, of which his conduct during the civil war is 
sufficient proof. It is also said, and truly, that although his 
courtesy was one of his strongest characteristics, yet sometimes he 
assumed an arrogance of manner which was not easily endured by 
the high-spirited men to whom it was addressed, and drew the 
daring outlaw into frequent disputes, from which he did not always 
come off with credit. From this it has been inferred, that Rob 
Roy was more of a bully than a hero, or at least that he had, 
according to the common phrase, his fighting days. Some aged 
men who knew him well, have described him also as better at a 
taich-tulzie, or scuffle within doors, than in mortal combat. The 
tenor of his life may be quoted to repel this charge ; while, at the 
same time, it must be allowed, that the situation in which he was 
placed rendered him prudently averse to maintaining quarrels, 
where nothing was to be had save blows, and where success would 
have raised up against him new and powerful enemies, in a country 
where revenge was still considered as a duty rather than a crime. 
The power of commanding his passions, on such occasions, far 
from being inconsistent with the part which MacGregor had to 
perform, was essentially necessarj', at the period when he lived, to 
prevent his career from being cut short. 


I may here mention one or two occasions on which Rob Roy- 
appears to have given way in the manner alluded to. My late 
venerable friend, John Ramsay of Ochtertyre, alike eminent as 
a classical scholar and as an authentic register of the ancient 
history and manners of Scotland, informed me, that on occasion of 
a public meeting at a bonfire in the town of Doune, Rob Roy gave 
some offence to James Edmondstone of Newton, the same gentle- 
man who was unfortunately concerned in the slaughter of Lord 
RoUo (See Maclaurin's Criminal Trials, No. IX.), when Edmond- 
stone compelled MacGregor to quit the tovm on pain of being 
thrown by him into the bonfire. " I broke one of your ribs on a 
former occasion," said he, "and now, Rob, if you provoke me 
farther, I will break your neck." But it must be remembered that 
Edmondstone was a man of consequence in the Jacobite party, as 
he carried the royal standard of James VII. at the battle of Sherriff- 
muir, and also, that he was near the door of his own mansion- 
house, and probably surrounded by his friends and adherents. 
Rob Roy, however, suffered in reputation for retiring under such a 

Another well-vouched case is that of Cunningham of Boquhan. 

Henry Cunningham, Esq. of Boquhan, was a gentleman of 
Stirlingshire, who, like many exquisites of our own time, united a 
natural high spirit and daring character with an affectation of 
delicacy of address and manners amounting to foppery.* He 
chanced to be in company with Rob Roy, who, either in contempt 
of Boquharfs supposed effeminacy, or because he thought him a 
safe person to fix a quarrel on (a point which Rob's enemies 
alleged he was wont to consider), insulted him so grossly that 
a challenge passed between them. The goodwife of the clachan 
had hidden Cunningham's sword, and, while he rummaged the 
house in quest of his own or 'some other, Rob Roy went to the 
Shieling Hill, the appointed place of combat, and paraded there 
with great majesty, waiting for his antagonist. In the meantime, 
Cunningham had rummaged out an old sword, and, entering the 
ground of contest in all haste, rushed on the outlaw with such un- 
expected fury that he fairly drove him off the field, nor did he show 
himself in the village again for some time. Mr. MacGregor 
Stirling has a softened account of this anecdote in his new edition 
of Nimmo's Stiriingshire ; still he records Rob Roy's discomfiture. 

Occasionally Rob Roy suffered disasters, and incurred great per- 
sonal danger. On one remarkable occasion he vs^as saved by the 
■coolness of his lieutenant, Macanaleister, or Fletcher, the Little 
John of his band — a fine active fellow, of course, and celebrated as 
a marksman. It happened that MacGregor and his party had 


been surprised and dispersed by a superior force of horse and foot, 
and the word was given to " spht and squander." Each shifted for 
himsplf, but a bold dragoon attached himself to pursuit of Rob, 
and overtaking him, struck at him with his broadsword. A plate 
of iron in his bonnet saved the MacGregor from being cut down to 
the teeth ; but the blow was heavy enough to bear him to the 
ground, crying, as he fell, " O, Macanaleister, is there naething in 
her ? " {i.e. in the gun.) The trooper, at the same time, exclaiming, 
, " D— -n ye, your mother never wrought your night-cap ! " had his 
arm raised for a second blow, when Macanaleister fired, and the 
ball pierced the dragoon's heart. 

Such as he was, Rob Roy's progress in his occupation is thus . 
described by a gentleman of sense and talent, who resided within 
the circle of his predatory wars, had probably felt their effects, and 
speaks of them, as might be expected, with little of the forbearance 
with which, from their peculiar and romantic character, they are 
now regarded. 

" This man (Rob Roy MacGregor) was a person of sagacity, and 
neither wanted stratagem nor address ; and, having abandoned 
himself to all licentiousness, set himself at the head of all the loose, 
vagrant, and desperate people of that clan, in the west end of Perth 
and Stirlingshires, and infested those whole counties with thefts, 
robberies, and depredations. Very few who lived within his reach 
(that is, within the distance of a nocturnal expedition) could promise 
to themselves security, either for their persons or effects, without 
subjecting themselves to pay him a heavy and shameful tax of 
blackmail. He at last proceeded ito such a degree of audacious- 
ness, that he committed robberies, raised contributions, and 
resented quarrels, at the head of a very considerable body of armed 
men, in open day, and in the face of the Government." * 

The extent and success of these depredations cannot be sur- 
prising, when we consider that the scene of them was laid in 
a country where the general law was neither enforced nor re- 

Having recorded that the general habit of cattle-stealing had 
blinded even those of the better classes to the infamy of the 
practice, and that as men's property consisted entirely in herds, 
it was rendered in the highest degree precarious, Mr. Grahame 
adds — 

" On these accounts there is no culture of ground, no improve- 
ment of pastures, and, from the same reasons, no manufactures, no 
trade ; in short, no industry. The people are extremely prolific, 
and therefore so numerous, that there is not business in that 
country, according to its present order and economy, for the one- 


half of them. Every place is full of idle people, accustomed to 
arms, and lazy in everything but rapines and depredations. As 
buddel or aquavifa houses are to be found everywhere through the 
country, so in these they saunter away their time, and frequently 
consume there the returns of their illegal purchases. Here the 
laws have never been executed, nor the authority of the magistrate 
ever established. Here the officer of the law neither dare nor can 
execute his duty, and several places are about thirty miles from 
lawful persons. In short, here is no order, no authority, no govern- 

The period of the Rebellion, 17 15, approached soon after Rob 
Roy had attained celebrity. His Jacobite partialities were now 
placed in opposition to his sense of the obligations which he owed 
to the indirect protection of the Duke of Argyle. But the desire 
of "drowning his sounding steps amid the din of general war," 
induced him to join the forces of the Earl of Mar, although his 
patron, the Duke of Argyle, was at the head of the army opposed 
to the Highland insurgents. 

The MacGregors, a large sept of them at least, that of Ciar 
Mhor, on this occasion, were not commanded by Rob Roy, but by 
his nephew already mentioned, Gregor MacGregor, otherwise 
called James Grahame of Glengyle, and still better remembered by 
the Gaelic epithet of Ghlune Dhu, i.e. Black Knee, from a black 
spot on one of his knees, which his Highland garb rendered visible. 
There can be no question, however, that being then very young, 
Glengyle must have acted on most occasions by the advice and 
direction of so experienced a leader as his,uncle. 

The MacGregors assembled in numbers at that period, and 
began even to threaten the Lowlands towards the lower extremity 
of Loch Lomond. They suddenly seized all the boats which were 
upon the lake, and, probably with a view to some enterprise of 
their own, drew them overland to Inversnaid, in order to intercept 
the progress of a large body of west-country whigs who were in 
arms for the Government, and moving in that direction. 

The whigs made an excursion for the recovery of the boats. 
Their forces consisted of volunteers from Paisley, Kilpatrick, and 
elsewhere, who, with the assistance of a body of seamen, were 
towed up the river Leven in long-boats belonging to the ships of 
war then lyiiig in the Clyde. At Luss they were joined by the 
forces of Sir Humphry Colquhoun, and James Grant, his son-in- 
law, with their followers, attired in the Highland dress of the 
period, which is picturesquely described.* The whole party crossed 
to Craig-Royston, but the MacGregors did not offer combat. If 
we are to believe the account of the expedition given by the 


historian Rae, they leaped on shore at Craig-Royston with the 
utmost intrepidity, no enemy appearing ,to oppose them, and, by 
tlie noise of their drums, which they beat incessantly, and the dis- 
charge of their artillery and small arms, terrified the MacGregors, 
whom they appear never to have seen, out of their fastnesses, and 
caused them to fly in a panic to the general camp of the High- 
landers at Strath Fillan.* The low-country men succeeded in 
getting possession of the boats, at a great expenditure of noise and 
courage, and little risk of danger. 

After this temporary removal from his old haunts, Rob Roy was 
sent by the Earl of Mar to Aberdeen, to raise, it is believed, a part 
of the clan Gregor, which is settled in that country. These men 
were of his own family (the race of the Ciar Mhor.) They were the 
descendants of about three hundred MacGregors whom the Earl 
of Murray, about the year 1624, transported from his estates in 
Monteith to oppose against his enemies the Macintoshes, a race as 
hardy and restless as they were themselves. 1 

But while in the city of Aberdeen, Rob Roy met a relation of a 
very different class and character from those whorn he was sent to 
summon to arms. This was Dr. James Gregory (by descent a 
MacGregor), the patriarch of a dynasty of professors distinguished 
for literary and scientific talent, and the grandfather of the late 
eminent physician and accomplished scholar. Professor Gregory of 
Edinburgh. This gentleman was at the time Professor of Medicine 
in King's College, Aberdeen, and son of Dr. James Gregory, dis- 
tinguished in science as the inventor of the reflecting telescope. 
With such a family it may seem our friend Rob could have had 
little communion. But civil war is a species of misery which intro- 
duces men to strange bedfellows. Dr. Gregory thought it a point 
of prudence to claim kindred, at so critical a period, with a man so 
formidable and influential. He invited Rob Roy to his house, ind 
treated him with so much kindness, that he produced in his gene- 
rous bosom a degree of gratitude which seemed likely to occasion 
very inconvenient effects. 

The Professor had a son about eight or nine years old,— a lively, 
stout boy of his age, — with whose appearance our Highland Robin . 
Hood was much taken. On the day before his departure from the 
house of his learned relative, Rob Roy, who had pondered deeply 
how he might requite his cousin's kindness, took Dr. Gregory aside, 
and addressed him to this purport : — " My dear kinsman, I have 
, been thinking what I could do to show my sense of your hospitality. . 
Now, here you' have a fine spirited boy of a son, who you are 
ruining by cramming him with your useless book-learning, and I 
am determined, by way of manifesting my great good-will to you 


and yours, to take him with me and make a man of him." The 
learned Professor was utterly overwhelmed when his warlike kins- 
man announced his kind purpose, in language which implied no 
doubt of its being a proposal which would be, and ought to be, 
accepted with the utmost gratitude. The task of apology or expla- 
nation was of a most dehcate description ; and there might have 
been considerable danger in suffering Rob Roy to perceive that the 
promotion with which he threatened the son was, in the father's 
eyes, the ready road to the gallows. Indeed, every excuse which 
he could at first think of— such as regret for putting his friend to 
trouble with a youth who had been educated in the Lowlands, and 
so on — only strengthened the chieftain's inclinatioik to patronize his 
young kinsman, as he supposed they arose entirely from the 
modesty of the father. He would for a long time take no apology, 
and even spoke of carrying off the youth by a certain degree of 
kindly violence, whether his father consented or not. At length 
the perplexed Professor pleaded that his son was very young, and 
in an infirm state of health, and not yet able to endure the hard- 
ships of a hfe ; but that in another year or two he hoped 
his health would be firmly established, and he would be in a fitting 
condition to atten4 on his brave kinsman, and follow out the 
splendid destinies to which he opened the way. This agreement 
being made, the cousins parted, — Rob Roy pledging his honour 
to carry his young relation to the hills with him on his next re- 
turn to Aberdeenshire, and Dr. Gregory, doubtless, praying in 
his secret soul that he might never see Rob's Highland face 

James Gregory, who thus escaped being his kinsman's recruit, 
and in all probability his henchman, was afterwards Professor of 
Medicine in the; College, and, like most of his family, distinguished 
by his scientific acquirements. He was rather of an irritable and 
pertinacious disposition ; and his friends were wont to remark, 
when he showed any symptoms of these foibles, " Ah ! this comes 
of not having been educated by Rob Roy." 

The connexion between Rob Roy and his classical kinsman did 
' not end with the period of Rob's transient power. At a period con- 
siderably subsequent to the year I7i5,he was walking in the Castle 
Street of Aberdeen, arm in arm with his host, Dr. James Gregory, 
when the drums in the barracks suddenly beat to arms, and sol- 
diers were seen issuing fi-om the barracks. " If these lads are 
turning out," said Rob, taking leave of his cousin with great com- 
posure, " it is time for me to look after my safety." So saying, he 
dived down a close, and as John Bunyan says, " went upon his 
way and was seen no more."* 


We have already stated that Rob Roy's conduct during the in- 
surrection of 1715 was very equivocal. His peison and followers 
were in the Highland army, but his heart seems to have been with 
the Duke of Argyle's. Yet the insurgents were constrained to trust 
to him as their only guide, when they marched from Perth towards 
Dumblane, with the view of crossing the Forth at what are called 
the Fords of Frew, and when they themselves said he could not be 
relied upon. 

This movement to the westward, on the part of the insurgents, 
brought on the battle of Sherriff-muir, indecisive, indeed, in its im- 
mediate results, but of which the Duke of Argyle reaped the whole 
advantage. In this action, it will be recollected that the right 
wing of the Highlanders broke and cut to pieces Argyle's left wing, 
while the clans on the left of Mar's army, though consisting of 
Stewarts, Mackenzies, and Camerons, were completely routed. 
During this medley of flight and pursuit, Rob Roy retained his sta- 
tion on a hill in the centre of the Highland position ; and though 
it is said his attack migljt have decided the day, lie could not be 
prevailed upon to charge. This was the more unfortunate for the 
insurgents, as the leading of a party of the Macphersons had been 
committed to MacGregor. This, it is said, was owing to the age 
and infirmity of the chief of that name, who, unable to lead his clan 
in person, objected to his heir-apparent, Macpherson of Nord, dis- 
charging his duty on that occasion ; so that the tribe, or a part of 
them, were brigaded with their allies the MacGregors. While the 
favourable moment for action was gliding away unemployed. Mar's 
positive orders reached Rob Roy that he should presently attack. 
To which He coolly replied, " No, no ! if they cannot do it without 
me, they cannot do it with me." One of the Macphersons, named 
Alexander, one of Rob's original profession, videlicet a drover, but 
a man of great strength and spirit, was so incensed at the inactivity 
of his temporary leader, that he threw off his plaid, drew his sword, 
and called out to his clansmen, " Let us endure this no longer ! if 
he will not lead you, I will." Rob Roy replied, with great cool- 
ness, " Were the question about driving Highland stots or kyloes, 
Sandie, I would yield to your superior skill ; but as it respects the 
leading of men, I must be allowed to be the better judge." — " Did 
the matter respect driving Glen-Eigas stots," answered the Mac- 
pherson, " the question with Rob would not be, which was to be 
last, but which was to be foremost." Incensed at this sarcasm, 
MacGregor drew his sword, and they would have fought upon the 
spot if their friends on both sides had not interfered. But the 
moment of attack was completely lost. Rob did not, however, 
neglect his own private interest on the occasion. In the confusion 


of an undecided field of battle, he enriched his followers by plun- 
dering the baggage and the dead on both sides. 

The fine old satirical ballad on the battle of Sherriff-muir does 
not forget to stigmatize our hero's conduct on this memorable 
occasion : 

Rob Roy he stood watch 
On a hill for to cat,ch 

The booty, for aught that I saw, man ; 
For he ne'er advanced 
From the place where he stanced, 
'Till nae mair was to do there at a' man. 

Notwithstanding the sort of neutrality which Rob Roy had con- 
tinued to observe during the progress of the Rebellion, he did not 
escape some of its penalties. He was included in the act of 
attainder, and the house in Breadalbane, which was his place of 
retreat, was burnt by General Lord Cadogan, when, after the con- 
clusion of the insurrection, he marched through the Highlands to 
disarm and punish the offending clans. But upon going to Inver- 
ary with about forty or fifty of his followers, Rob obtained favour, 
by an apparent surrender of their arms to Colonet Patrick Camp- 
bell of Finnah, who furnished them and their leader with protections 
under his hand. Being thus in a great measure secured from 
the resentment of Government, Rob Roy established his residence 
at Craig- Roy ston, near Loch Lomond, in the midst of his own 
kinsmen, and lost no time in resuming his private quarrel with the 
Duke of Montrose. For this purpose, he soon got on foot as many 
men, and well armed too, as he had yet commanded. He never 
stirred without a body-guard of ten or twelve picked followers, and 
without much effort could increase them to fifty or sixty. 

The Duke was not wanting in efforts to destroy this troublesome 
adversaiy. His Grace applied to General Carpenter, commanding 
the forces in Scotland, and by his orders three parties of soldiers 
were directed from the three different points of Glasgow, StirUng, 
and Finlarig near Killin. Mr. Graham of Killearn, the Duke of 
Montrose's relation and factor, Sheriff-depute also of Dumbarton- 
shire, accompanied the troops, that they might act under the civil 
authority, and have the assistance of a trusty guide well acquainted 
with the hills. It was the object of these several columns to arrive 
about the same time in the neighbourhood of Rob Roy's residence, 
and surprise him and his followers. But heavy rains, the difficul- 
ties of the country, and the good intelligence which the Outlaw was 
always supplied with, disappointed their well-concerted combina- 
tion. The troops, finding the birds w^ere flown, avenged themselves 
by destroying the nest. They burned Rob Roy's house, though not 


with impunity ; for the MacGregors, concealed among the thickets 
and cliffs, fired on them, and killed a grenadier. 

Rob Roy avenged himself for the loss which he sustained on this 
occasion by an act of singular audacity. About the middle of 
November, 1716, John Graham of Killearn, already mentioned as 
factor of the Montrose family, went to a place called Chapel Errock, 
where the tenants of the Duke were summoned to appear with 
their termly rents. They appeared accordingly, and the factor had 
received ready money to the amount of about^3oo, when Rob Roy 
entered the room at the head of an armed party. The steward 
endeavoured to protect the Duke's property by throwing the books 
of accounts and money into a garret, trusting they might escape 
notice. But the experienced freebooter was not to be baffled where 
such a prize was at stake. He recovered the books and cash, placed 
himself calmly in the receipt of custom, examined the accounts, 
pocketed the money, and gave receipts on the Duke's part, saying 
he would hold reckoning with the Duke of Montrose out of the 
damages which he had sustained by his Grace's means, in which 
he included the losses he had suffered, as well by the burning of 
his house by General Cadogan, as by the later expedition against 
Craig-Royston. He then requested Mr. Graham to attend him ; 
nor does it appear that he treated him with any personal violence, 
or even rudeness, although he informed him he regarded him as a 
hostage, and menaced rough usage in case he should be pursued, 
or in danger of being overtaken. Few more audacious feats have 
been performed. After some rapid changes of place (the fatigue 
attending which was the only annoyance that Mr. Graham seems to 
have complained of), he carried his prisoner to an island on Loch 
Katrine, and caused him to write to the Duke, to state that his ran- 
som was fixed at 3,400 merks, being the balance which MacGregor 
pretended remained due to him, after deducting all that he owed 
to the Duke of Montrose. 

However, after detaining Mr. Graham five or six days in custody 
on the island, which is still called Rob Roy's Prison, and could be 
no comfortable dwelling for November nights, the Outlaw seems to 
have despaired of attaining further advantage from his bold 
attempt, and suffered his prisoner to depart uninjured, with the 
account-books, and bills granted by the tenants, taking especial 
care to retain the cash.* 

Other pranks are told of Rob, which argue the satne boldness 
and sagacity as the seizure of Killearn. The Duke of' Montrose, 
weary of his insolence, procured a quantity of arms, and distributed 
them among his tenantry, in order that they might defend them- 
selves against future violences. But they fell into different hands 


from those they were intended for. The MacGregors made sepa- 
rate attacks on the houses of the tenants, and disarmed them all 
one after another, not, as was supposed, without the consent of 
many of the persons so disarmed. 

As a great part of the Duke's rents were payable in kind, there 
were gimels (granaries) established for storing up the com at 
Moulin, and elsewhere on the Buchanan estate. To these store- 
houses Rob Roy used to repair with a sufficient force, and of course 
when he was least expected, and insist upon the delivery of quan- 
tities of grain, sometimes for his own use, and sometimes for the 
assistance of the country people ; always giving regular receipts in 
his own name, and pretending to reckon with the Duke for what 
sums he received. 

In the meanwhile a garrison was established by Government, the 
ruins of which may be still seen about half way betwixt Loch 
Lomond and Loch Katrine, upon Rob Roy's original property of 
Inversnaid. Even this military establishment could not bridle the 
restless MacGregor. He contrived to surprise the little fort, dis- 
arm the soldiers, and destroy the fortification. It was afterwards 
re-established, and again taken i by the MacGregors under Rob 
Rojf's nephew, Ghlune Dhu, previous to the insurrection of 1745-6. 
Finally, the fort of Inversnaid was a third time repaired after the 
extinction of civil discord ; and when we find the celebrated General 
Wolfe commanding in it, the imagination is strongly affected by 
the variety of time and events which the circumstance brings 
simultaneouslyto recollection. It is now totally dismantled.* 

It was not, strictly speaking, as a professed depredator that Rob 
Roy now conducted his operations, but as a sort of contractor for 
the police ; in Scottish phrase, a lifter of black-mail. The nature 
of this contract has been described in the Novel of Waverley, and 
in the notes on that work. Mr. Graham of Gartmore's description 
-of the character may be transcribed : 

" The confusion and disorders of the country were so great, and 
the Government so absolutely neglected it, that the sober people 
there were obliged to purchase some security to their effects, by 
shameful and ignominious contracts of black-mail. A person who 
had the greatest correspondence with the thieves, was agreed with 
to preserve the lands contracted for from thefts, for certain sums to 
be paid yearly. Upon this fund he employed one half of the thieves 
to recover stolen cattle, and the other half of them to steal, in order 
to make this agreement and black-mail contract necessary. The 
estates of those gentlemen who refused to contract, or give counte- 
nance to that pernicious practice, are plundered by the thieving part 
of the watch, in order to force them to purchase their protection. 



Their leader calls himself the Captain of the Watch, and his 
banditti go by that name. And as this gives them a kind of autho- 
rity to traverse the country, so it makes them capable of doing any 
mischief. These corps through the Highlands make altogether a 
very considerable body of men, inured from their infancy to the 
greatest fatigues, and very capable to act in a military way when 
occasion offei's. 

" People who are ignorant and enthusiastic, who are in absolute 
dependence upon their chief or landlord, who are directed in their 
consciences by Roman Catholic priests, or nonjuring clergymen, 
and who are not masters of any property, may easily be formed 
into any mould. They fear no dangers, as they have nothing to 
lose, and so can with ease be induced to attempt anything. Nothing 
can ifiake their condition worse ; confusions and troubles do com- 
monly indulge them in such licentiousness, that by these they 
better it."* 

As the practice of contracting for bl^ck-mail was an obvious 
encouragement to rapine, and a great obstacle to the course of 
justice, it was, by the statute 1567, chap. 21, declared a capital crime, 
both on the part of him who levied and him who paid this sort of 
tax. But the necessity of the case prevented the execution of this 
severe law, I believe, in any one instance ; and men went on 
submitting to a certain unlawful imposition, rather than run the 
risk of utter ruin, — ^just as it is now found difficult or impos- 
sible to prevent those who have lost a very large sum of money by 
robbery, from compounding with the felons for restoration of a part 
of their booty. 

At what rate Rob Roy levied black-mail, I never heard stated ; 
but there is a formal contract, by which his nephew, in 1741, agreed 
with various landholders of estates in the counties of Perth, Stirling, 
and Dumbarton, to recover cattle stolen from them, or to pay 
the value within six months of the loss being intimated, if such, 
intimation were made to him with sufficient dispatch, in considera- 
tion of a payment of ^5 on each ^loo of valued rent, which was 
not a very heavy insurance. Petty thefts were not included in the 
contract ; but the theft of one horse, or one head of black cattle, 
or of sheep exceeding the number of six, fell under the agreement. 

Rob Roy's profits upon such contracts brought him in a con- 
siderable revenue in money or cattle, of which he made a popular 
use ; for he was publicly liberal, as well as privately beneficent. 
The minister of the parish of Balquhidder, whose name was 
Robison, was at one time threatening to pursue the parish for an 
augmentation of his stipend. Rob Roy took an opportunity to 
assure him that he would do well to abstain from this new exaction, 


— a hint which the minister did not fail to understand. But to 
make him some indemnification, MacGregor presented him every 
year with a cow and a fat sheep ; and no scruples as to the mode 
in which the donor came by them, are said to have affected the 
reverend gentleman's conscience. 

The following account of the proceedings of Rob Roy, on an 
application to him from one of his contractors, had in it something 
very interesting to me, as told by an old countryman in the Lennox 
who was present on the expedition. But as there is no point or 
marked incident in the story, and as it must necessarily be without 
the half-frightened, half-bewildered look, with which the narrator 
accompanied his recollections, it may possibly lose its effect when 
transferred to paper. 

My informant stated himself to have been a lad of fifteen, living 
with his father on the estate of a gentleman in Lennox, whose 
name I have forgotten, in the capacity of herd. On a fine morning 
in the end of October, the period when such calamities were almost 
always to be apprehended, they found the Highland thieves had 
been down upon them, and swept away ten or twelve head of cattle. 
Rob Roy was sent for, and came with a party of seven or eight 
armed men. He heard with great gravity all that could be told 
him of the circumstances of the creagh, and expressed his con- 
fidence that the herd w'iddiefows * could not have carried their 
booty far, and that he should be able to recover them. He desired 
that two Lowlanders should be sent on the party, as it was not to 
be expected that any of his gentlemen would take the trouble of 
driving the cattle when he should recover possession of them. My 
informant and his father were dispatched on the expedition. They 
had no good will to the journey ; nevertheless, provided with a 
little food, and with a dog to help them to manage the cattle, they 
set off with MacGregor. They travelled a long day's journey in 
the direction of the mountain Benvoirlich, and slept for the night 
in a ruinous hut or bothy. The next morning they resumed their 
journey among the hills, Rob Roy directing their course by signs 
and marks on the heath, which my informant did not understand. 

About noon, Rob commanded the armed party to halt, and to lie 
couched in the heather where it was thickest. "Do you and your 
son," he said to the oldest Lowlander, " go boldly over the hill. 
You will see beneath you, in a glen on the other side, your master's 
cattle feeding, it may be, with others ; gather your own together, 
taking care to disturb no one else, and drive them to this place. If 
any one speak to, or threaten you, tell them that I am here, at the 
head of twenty men." — " But what if they abuse us, or kill us?" said 
the Lowland feasant, by no means delighted at finding the embassy 


imposed on him and his son. " If they do you any wrong," said 
Rob, " I will never forgwe them as long as I live." The Lowlander 
was by no means content with this security, but did not think it 
safe to dispute Rob's injunctions. 

He and his son climbed the hill, therefore, found a deep valley, 
where there grazed, as Rob had predicted, a large herd of cattle. 
They cautiously selected those which their master had lost, and 
took measures to drive them over the hill. As soon as they began 
to remove them, they were surprised by hearing cries and screams ; 
and looking around in fear and trembling, they saw a woman, 
seeming to have started out of the earth, -vih-oflyted at them, that 
is, scolded them, in Gaelic. When they contrived, however, in the 
best Gaelic they could muster, to deliver the message Rob Roy 
told them, she became silent, and disappeared without offering 
them any further annoyance. The chief heard their story on 
their return, and spoke with great complacency of the art which 
he possessed of putting such things to rights without any un- 
pleasant bustle. The party were now on their road home, and 
the danger, though not the fatigue, of the expedition was at 
an end. 

They drove on the cattle with little repose until it was nearly 
dark, when Rob proposed to halt for the night upon a wide moor, 
across which a cold north-east wind, with frost on its wing, was 
whistling to the tune of the Pipers of Strath-Dearn.* The High- 
landers, sheltered by their plaids, lay down in the heath comfort- 
ably enough, but the Lowlanders had no protection whatever. Rob 
Roy, observing this, directed one of his followers to afford the old 
man a portion of his plaid ; " for the callant (boy), he may," said 
the freebooter, " keep himself warm by walking about and watching 
the cattle." My informant heard this sentence with no small dis- 
tress ; and as the frost wind grew more and more cutting, it seemed 
to freeze the very blood in his young veins. He had been exposed 
to weather all his life, he said, but never could forget the cold of 
that night ; in so much that, in the bitterness of his heart, he cursed 
the bright moon for giving no heat with so much light. At length 
the sense' of cold and weariness became so intolerable, that he 
resolved to desert his watch to seek some repose and shelter. With 
that purpose, he couched himself down behind one of the most 
bulky of the Highlanders, who acted as lieutenant to the party. 
Not satisfied with having secured the shelter of the man's large 
person, he coveted a share of his plaid, and by imperceptible 
degrees drew a corner of it round him. He was now comparatively 
in paradise, and slept sound till daybreak, \«hen he awoke, and was 
terribly afraid on observing that his nocturnal operations had 



altogether uncovered the dhuiniewassell's neck and shoulders, 
which, lacking the plaid which should have protected them, were 
covered with cranreuch{i.£., hoar frost). The lad rose in great 
dread of a beating, at least, when it should be found how luxuriously 
he had been accommodated at the expense of a principal person of 
the party. Good Mr. Lieutenant, however, got up and shook him- 
self, rubbing off the hoar frost with his plaid, and muttering some- 
thing of a cauld neight. They then drove on the cattle, which were 
restored to their owner without farther adventure. The above can 
hardly be termed a tale, but yet it contains materials both for the 
poet and artist. 

It was perhaps about the same time that, by a rapid march into 
the Balquhidder hills at the head of a body of his own tenantry, the 
Duke of Montrose actually surprised Rob Roy, and made him 
prisoner. He was mounted behind one of the Duke's followers, 
named James Stewart, and made fast to him by a horse-girth. The 
person who had him thus in charge was grandfather of the intelli- 
gent man of the same name, now deceased, who lately kept the inn 
in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, and acted as a guide to visitors 
through that beautiful scenery. From him I learned the story many 
years before he was either a publican, or a guide, except to moor- 
fowl shooters. — It was evening (to resume the story), and the Duke 
was pressing on to lodge his prisoner, so long sought after in vain, 
in some place of security, when, in crossing the Teith or Forth, I 
•forget which, MacGregor took an opportunity to conjure Stewart, 
by all the ties of old acquaintance and good-neighbourhood, to give 
him some chaiice of an escape from an assured doom. Stewart 
was moved with compassion, perhaps with fear. He slipped the 
girth-buckle, and Rob dropping down from behind the horse's 
croupe, dived, swam, and escaped, pretty much as described in the 
Novel. When James Stewart came on shore, the Duke hastily 
demanded where his prisoner was ; and as no distinct answer was 
returned, instantly suspected Stewart's connivance at the escape of 
the outlaw ; and, drawing a steel pistol from his belt, struck him 
down with a blow on the head, from the effects of which, his 
descendant said, he never completely recovered. 

In the success of his repeated escapes from the pursuit of his 
powerful enemy, Rob Roy at length became wanton and facetious. 
He wrote a mock challenge to the Duke, which he circulated among 
his friends to amuse them over a bottle. The reader will find this 
document in the Appendix.* It is written in a good hand, and not 
particularly deficient in grammar or spelling. Our Southern readers 
must be given to understand that it was a piece of humour, — a 
quiz, in short, — on the part of the outlaw, who was too sagacious to 


propose such a rencontre in reality. This letter was written in the 
year 1719. 

In the following year Rob Roy composed another epistle, very 
little to his own reputation, as he therein confesses having played 
booty during the civil war of 1715. It is addressed to General 
Wade, at that time engaged in disarming the Highland clans, and 
making military roads through the country. The letter is a singular 
composition. It sets out the writer's real and unfeigned desire to 
have offered his service to King George, but for his liability to be 
thrown into jail for a civil debt, at the instance of the Duke of 
Montrose. Being thus debarred from taking the right side, he 
acknowledged he embraced the wrong one, upon Falstaff's principle, 
that since the King wanted men and the rebels soldiers, it were 
worse shame to be idle in such a stirring world, than to embrace 
the worst side, were it as black as rebellion could make it. The 
impossibility of his being neutral in such a debate, Rob seems to 
lay do*n as an undeniable proposition. At the same time, while 
he acknowledges having been forced into an unnatural rebellion 
against King George, he pleads that he not only avoided acting 
offensively against his Majesty's forces on all occasions, but, on 
the contrary, sent to them what intelligence he could collect from 
time to time ; for the truth of which he refers to his Grace the Duke 
of Argyle. What influence this plea had on General Wade, we have 
no means of knowing. 

Rob Roy appears to have continued to live very much as usual. 
His fame, in the meanwhile, passed beyond the narrow limits of 
the country in which he resided. A pretended history of him 
appeared in London during his lifetime, under the title of the 
Highland Rogue. It is a catch-penny publication, bearing in front 
the effigy of a species of ogre, with a beard of a foot in length ; and 
his actions are as niuch exaggerated as his personal appearance. 
Some few of the best known adventures of the hero are told, 
though with little accuracy ; but the greater part of the pamphlet is 
entirely fictitious. It is a great pity so excellent a theme for a narra- 
tive of the kind had not fallen into the hands of De Foe, who was 
engaged at the time on subjects somewhat similar, though inferior 
in dignity and interest. 

As Rob Roy advanced in years, he became more peaceable in 
his habits, and his nephew Ghlune Dhu, with most of his tribe, 
renounced those peculiar quarrels with the Duke of Montrose, by 
which his uncle had been distinguished. The policy of that great 
family had latterly been rather to attach this wild tribe by kindness 
than to follow the mode of violence which had been hitherto 
ineffectually resorted to. Leases at a low rent were granted to many 



of the MacGregors, who had heretofore held possessions in the 
Duke's Highland property merely by occupancy ; and Glengyle (or 
Black-knee), who continued to act as collector of black-mail, ma- 
naged his police, as a commander of the Highland watch arrayed 
at the charge of Government. He is said to have strictly abstained 
from the open and lawless depredations which his kinsman had 

It was probably after this state of temporary quiet had been 
obtained, that Rob Roy began to think of the concerns of his fu»"re 
state. He had been bred, and long professed himself, a Protestant, 
but in his later years he embraced the Roman Catholic faith, — 
perhaps on Mrs. Cole's principle, that it was a comfortable religion 
for one of his calling. He, is said to have alleged as the cause of 
his conversion, a desire to gratify the noble family of Perth, who 
were then strict Catholics. Having, as he observed, assumed the 
name of the Duke of Argyle, his first protector, he could pay no 
compliment worth the Earl of Perth's acceptance, save complying 
with his mode of religion. Rob did not pretend, when pressed 
closely on the subject, to justify all the tenets of Catholicism, and 
acknowledged that extreme unction always appeared to him a great 
waste of iilzie, or oil.* 

In the last years of Rob Roy's life, his clan was involved in a 
dispute with one more powerful than themselves. Stewart of 
Appin, a chief of the tribe so named, was proprietor of a hill-farm 
in the Braes of Balquhidder, called Invernenty. The MacGregors 
of Rob Roy's tribe claimed a right to it by ancient occupancy, and 
declared they would oppose to the uttermost the settlement of any 
person upon the farm not being of their own name. The Stewarts 
came down with two hundred men, well armed to do themselves 
justice by main force. The MacGregors took the field, but were 
unable to muster an equal strength. Rob Roy, finding himself the 
weaker party, asked a parley, in which he represented that both clans 
were friends to the King, and th,at he was unwilling they should 
be weakened by mutual conflict, and thus made a merit of surren- 
dering to Appin the disputed territory of Invernenty. Appin, 
accordingly, settled as tenants there, at an easy quit-rent, the Mac- 
Larens, a family dependent on the Stewarts, and from whose 
character for strength and bravery, it was expected that they 
would make their right good if annoyed by the MacGregors. When 
all this had been amicably adjusted, in presence of the two clans 
drawn up in arms near the Kirk of Balquhidder, Rob Roy, appa- 
rently fearing his tribe might be thought to have conceded too much 
upon the occasion, stepped forward and said, that where so many 
gallant men were met in arms, it would be shameful to part without 





a trial of skill, and therefore he took the freedom to invite any 
gentleman of the Stewarts present to exchange a few blows with 
him for the honour of their respective clans. The brother-in-law of 
Appin, and second chieftain of the clan, Alaster Stewart of Inver- 
nahyle, accepted the challenge, and they encountered with broad- 
sword and target before their respective kinsmen.* The combat 
lasted till Rob received a slight wound in the arm, which was the 
usual termination of such a combat when fought for honour only, 
and not with a mortal purpose. Rob Roy dropped his point, and 
congratulated his adversary on having been the first man who ever 
drew blood from him. The victor generously acknowledged, that 
without the advantage of youth, and the agility accompanying it, he 
probably could not have come off with advantage. 

This was probably one of Rob Roy's last exploits in arms. The 
time of his death is not known with certainty, but he is generally 
said to have survived 1738, and to have died an aged man. When 
he found himself approaching his final change, he expressed some 
contrition for particular parts of his life. His wife laughed at these 
scruples of conscience, and exhorted him to die like a man, as he 
had lived. In reply, he rebuked her for her violent passions, and 
the counsels she had given him. " You have put strife," he said, 
" betwixt me and the best men of the country, and now you would 
place enmity between me and my God." 

There is a tradition, no way inconsistent with the former, if the 
character of Eob Roy be justly considered, that while on his death- 
bed, he learned that a person, with whom he was at enmity, pro- 
posed to visit him. " Raise me from my bed," said the invalid ; 
"throw my plaid around me, and bring me my claymore, dirk, 
and pistols — it shall never be said that a foeman saw Rob Roy 
MacGregor defenceless and unarmed." His foeman, conjectured 
-to be one of the MacLarens before and after mentioned, entered 
and paid his compliments, inquiring after the health of his formid- 
able neighbour. Rob Roy maintained a cold, haughty civility 
during their short conference, and so soon as be had left the house, 
" Now," he said, " all is over — let the piper play Ha til mi tulidk" 
{we return no more ; ) and he is said to have expired before the dirge 
was finished. 

This singular man died in bed in his own house, in the parish of 
Balquhidder. He was buried in the churchyard of the same parish, 
where his tombstone is only distinguished by a rude attempt at the 
figure of a broadsword. 

The character of Rob Roy is, of course, a mixed one. His sa- 
gacity, boldness, and prudence, qualities so highly neceissary to 
success in war, became in some degree vices, from the manner in 


which they were employed. The circumstances of his education, 
however, must be admitted as some extenuation of his habitual trans- 
gressions against the law ; and for his political tergiversations, he 
might in that distracted period plead the example of men far more 
powerful, and less excusable in becoming the sport of circumstances, 
than the poor and desperate outlaw. On the other hand, he was in 
the constant exercise of virtues, the more meritorious as they seem 
inconsistent with his general character. Pursuing the occupation 
of a predatory chieftain, — in modern phrase, a captain of banditti, — 
Rob Roy was moderate in his revenge, and humane in his successes. 
No charge of cruelty or bloodshed, unless in battle, is brought 
against his memory. In like manner, the formidable outlaw was 
the friend of the poor, and, to the utmost of his ability, the support of 
the widow and the orphan — kept his word when pledged — and died 
lamented in his own wild country, where there were hearts grateful 
for his beneficence, though their minds were not sufficiently in- 
structed to appreciate his errors. 

Abbot-sford, 1829. 

I^f [That the text be not cumbered, the notes, which are numerous and 
valuable, wiU be found at the close of the text, an asterisk appearing in the 
page to call attention to them.] — A.M. 

\N.B, — An account, by the "-Author of Waverley" of the fate and 
fortunes of the sons of ROB ROY will be found at the close of 
this volume. — A. M.^ , 


When the Editor of the following volumes published, about two 
years since, the work called " The Antiquary," he announced that 
he was, for the last time, intruding upon the public in his present 
capacity. He might shelter himself under the plea that every 
anonymous writer is, like the celebrated Junius, only a phantom, 
and that therefore, although an apparition of a more benign, as 
well as much meaner description, he cannot be bound to plead to 
a charge of inconsistency. A better apology may be found in the 
imitating the confession of honest Benedict, that, when he said he 
would die a bachelor, he did not think he should live to be married. 
The best of all would be, if, as has eminently happened in the case 
of some distinguished contemporaries, the merit of the work should, 
in the reader's estimation, form an excuse for the Author's breach 
of promise. Without presuming to hope that this may prove the 
case, it is only further necessary to mention, that my resolution, 
like that of Benedict, fell a sacrifice, to temptation at least, if not 
to stratagem. 

It is now about six months since the Author, through the medium 
of his respectable Publishers, received a parcel of Papers, contain- 
ing the Outlines of this narrative, with a permission, or rather with 
a request, couched in highly flattering terms, that they niight be 
given to the Public, with such alterations as should be found suit- 
able.* These were of course so numerous, that, besides the sup- 
pression of names, and of incidents approaching too much to 
reality, the work may in a great measure be said to be new written. 
Several anachronisms have probably crept in during the course of 
these changes ; and the mottoes for the Chapters have been selected 
without any reference to the supposed date of the incidents. For 
these, of course, the Editor is responsible. Some others occurred 
in the original materials, but they are of little consequence. In 
point of minute accuracy, it may be stated, that the bridge over 
the Forth, or rather the Avondhu (or Black River), near the hamlet 
of Aberfoil, had not an existence thirty years ago. It does not, 
however, become the Editor to be the first to point out these 
errors ; and he takes this public opportunity to thank the unknown 
and nameless correspondent,^ to whom the reader will owe the 
principal share of any amusement which he may derive from the 
following pages. 

ist December, 1817. 



How have I sinn'd, that this affliction 

Should light so heavy on me ? I have no more sons, 

And this no more mine own. — My grand curse 

Hang o'er his head that thus transform'd thee ! — ^Travel ? 

I'll send my horse to travel next. 

Monsieur Thomas. 

You have requested me, my dear friend, to bestow some of that 
leisure, with which Providence has blessed the decline of my life, 
in registering the hazards and difficulties which attended its com- 
mencement. The recollection of those adventures, as you are 
pleased to term them, has indeed left upon my mind a chequered 
and varied feeling of pleasure and of pain, mingled, I trust, with 
no slight gratitude and veneration to the Disposer of human events, 
who guided my early course through much risk and labour, that 
the ease with which He has blessed my prolonged life, might seem 
softer from remembrance and contrast. Neither is it possible for 
me to doubt, what you have often affirmed, that the incidents 
which befell me among a people singularly primitive in their 
government and manners, have something interesting and attrac- 
tive for those who love to hear an old man's stories of a past age. 

Still, however, you must remember, that the tale told by one 
friend, and listened to by another, loses half its charms when com- 
mitted to paper ; and that the narratives to which you have attended, 
with interest, as heard from the voice of him to whom they occurred, 
will appear less deserving of attention when perused in the seclusion 
of your studyJ But your greener age and robust constitution pro- 
mise longer life than will, in all human probability, be the lot of 
your friend. Throw, then, these sheets into some secret drawer of 
your escritoir till we are separated from each other's society by an 
event which may happen at any moment, and which must happen 
within the course of a few — a very few years. When we are parted 
ill this world, to meet, I hope, in a better, you will, I am well aware, 
cherish more than it deserves the memory of your departed friend, 
and will find in those details which I am now to commit to paper. 

ROB ROY. 41 

matter for melancholy, but not unpleasing reflection. Others be- 
queath to the confidants of their bosom, portraits of their external 
features — I put into your hands a faithful transcript of my thoughts 
and feelings, of my virtues and of my failings, with the assured hope, 
that the follies and headstrong impetuosity of my youth will meet 
the same kind construction and forgiveness which have so often 
attended the faults of my matured age. 

One advantage, among the many, of addressing my Memoirs (if 
I may give these sheets a name so imposing) to a dear and inti- 
mate friend, is, that I may spare some of the details, in this case 
unnecessary, with which I must needs have detained a stranger 
from what I have to say of greater interest. Why should I bestow 
aU my tediousness upon you, because I have you in my power, and 
have ink, paper, and time before me ? At the same time, I dare 
not promise that I may not abuse the opportunity so temptingly 
offered me, to treat of myself and my own concerns, even though I 
speak of circumstances as well known to you as to myself. The 
seductive love of narrative, when we ourselves are the heroes of the 
events which we tell, often disregards the attention due to the time 
and patience of the audience, and the best and wisest have yielded 
to its fascination. I need only remind you of the singular instance 
evinced by the form of that rare and original edition of Sully's 
Memoirs, which you (with the fond vanity of a book-collector) in- 
sist upon preferring to that which is reduced to the useful and 
ordinary form of Memoirs, but which I think curious, solely as 
illustrating how far so great a man as the author was accessible to 
the foible of self-importance. If I recollect rightly, that venerable 
peer and great statesman had appointed no fewer than four gentle- 
men of his household to draw up the events of his life, under the 
title of Memorials of the Sage and Royal Affairs of State, Domestic, 
Political, and Military, transacted by Henry IV., and so forth. 
These grave recorders, having made their compilation, reduced the 
Memoirs containing all the remarkable events of their master's life, 
into a narrative, addressed to himself in propria persona. And 
thus, instead of telling his own story in the third person, like Julius 
Caesar, or in the first person, like most who, in the hall or the study, 
undertake to be the hearers of their own tale, Sully enjoyed the re- 
fined, though whimsical pleasure, of having the events of his life 
told over to him by his secretaries, being himself the auditor, as he 
was also the hero, and probably the author of the whole book. It 
must have been a great sight to have seen the ex-minister, as bolt 
upright as a starched ruff and laced cassock could make him, seated 
in state beneath his canopy, and listening to the recitation of his 
compilers, while, standing bare in his presence, they informed him 

43 ROB ROY. 

gravely, " Thus said the duke— so did the duke infer— such were 
your grace's sentiments upon this important point — such were your 
secret counsels to the king on that other emergency," — circuni- 
stances, all of which must have been much better known to their 
hearer than to themselves, and most of which could only be de- 
rived from his own special communication. 

My situation is not quite so ludicrous as that of the great Sully, 
and yet there would be something whimsical in Frank Osbaldistone 
giving Will Tresham a formal account of his birth, education, and 
connexions in the world. I will, therefore, wrestle with the tempt- 
ing spirit of P. P., Clerk of our parish, as' I best may, and endea- 
vour to tell you nothing that is familiar to you already. Some 
things, however, I must recall to your memory, because, though 
formerly well known to you, they may have been forgotten 
through lapse of time, and they afford the groundwork of my 

You must remember my father well ; for as your own was a 
member of the mercantile house, you knew him from infancy. Yet 
you hardly saw him in his best days, before age and infirmity had 
quenched his ardent spirit of enterprise and speculation. He would 
have been a poorer man, indeed, but perhaps as happy, had he de- 
voted to the extension of science those active energies, and acute 
powers of observation, for which commercial pursuits found occupa- 
tion. Yet, in the fluctuations of mercantile speculation, there is 
something captivating to the adventurer, even independent of the 
hope of gain. He who embarks on that fickle sea, requires to 
possess the skill of the pilot, and the fortitude of the navigator, and 
after all may be wrecked and lost, unless the gales of fortune 
breathe in his favour. This mixture of necessary attention and 
inevitable hazard — the frequent and awful uncertainty whether pru- 
dence shall overcome fortune, or fortune baffle the schemes of 
prudence, affords full occupation for the powers as well as for the 
feelings of the mind, and trade has all the fascination of gambling, 
without its moral guilt. 

Early in the i8th century, when I (Heaven help me !) was a youth 
of some twenty years old, I was summoned suddenly from Bourdeaux 
to attend my father on business of importance. I shall never forget 
our first interview. You recollect the brief, abrupt, and somewhat 
stem mode in which he was wont to communicate his pleasure to 
those around him. Methinks I see him even now in my mind's eye ; — 
the firm and upright figure, — the step quick and determined, — the 
eye, which shot so keen and so penetrating a glance, — the features 
on which care had already planted wrinkles, — and hear his lan- 
guage, in which he never wasted word in vain, expressed in a voice 

ROB ROY. 43 

which had sometimes an occasional harshness, far from the inten- 
tion of the spealcer. 

Wlien I dismounted from my post-horse, I hastened to my father's 
apartment. He was traversing it with an air of composed and 
steady deliberation, which even my arrival, although an only son 
■unseen for four years, was unable to discompose. I threw myself 
into his arms. He was a kind, though not a fond father, and the 
tear twinkled in his dark eye, but it was only for a moment. 

" Dubourg writes to me that he is satisfied with you, Frank." 

" I am happy, sir " 

" But I have less reason to be so," he added, sitting down at his 

" I am sorry, sir" 

" Sorry and happy, Frank, are words that, on most occasions, 
signify little or nothing — Here is your last letter." 

He took it out from a number of others tied up in a parcel of red 
tape, and curiously labelled and filed. There lay my poor epistle, 
written on the subject the nearest to my heart at the time, and 
couched in words which I had thought would work compassion, if 
not conviction, — there, I say, it lay, squeezed up ^among the letters 
on miscellaneous business in which my father's daily affairs had 
engaged him. I cannot help smiling internally when I recollect the 
mixture of hurt vanity and wounded feeling with which I regarded 
my remonstrance, to the penning of which there had gone, I pro- 
mise you, some trouble, as I beheld it extracted from amongst letters 
of advice, of credit, and' all the commonplace lumber, as I then 
thought them, of a merchant's correspondence. Surely, thought I, 
a letter of such importance (I dared not say, even to myself, so well 
written) deserved a separate place, as well as more anxious con- 
sideration, than those on the ordinary business of the counting- 

But my father did not observe my dissatisfaction, and would not 
have minded it if he had. He proceeded, with the letter in his 
hand, " This, Frank, is yours -of the 21st ultimo, in which you advise 
me " (reading from my letter), " that in the most important business 
of forming a plan, and adopting a profession for life, you trust my 
paternal goodness will hold you entitled to at least a negative voice ; 
that you have insuperable — ay, insuperable is the word — I wish, by 
the way, you would write a more distinct current hand — draw a score 
through the tops of your t's, and open the loops of your I's — in- 
superable objections to the arrangements- which I have proposed to 
you. There is much more to the same effect, occupying four good 
pages of paper, which a little attention to perspicuity and distinct- 
ness of expression might have comprised within as many lines. 

+t ROB ROY. 

For, after all, Frank, it amounts but to this, that you will not do as 
I would have you." 

" That I cannot, sir, in the present instance ; not that I will 

" Words avail very little with me, young man," said my father, 
whose inflexibility always possessed the air of the most perfect 
calmness and self-possession. " Can not may be a more civil 
phrase than will not, but the expressions are synonymous where 
there is no moral impossibility. But I am not a friend to doing 
business hastily; we will talk this matter over after dinner. — 
Owen ! " 

Owen appeared, not with the silver locks which you were used to 
venerate, for he was then little more than fifty ; but he had the 
same, or an exactly similar uniform suit of light brown clothes, — 
the same pearl-grey silk stockings, — the same stock, with its silver 
buckle, — the same plaited cambric ruffles, drawn down over his 
knuckles in the parlour, but in the counting-house carefully folded 
back under the sleeves, that they might remain unstained by the 
ink which he daily consumed; — in a word, the same grave, formal, 
yet benevolent cast of features, which continued to his death to 
distinguish the hea!d-clerk of the great house of Osbaldistone and 

" Owen," said my father, as the kind old man shook me affec- 
tionately by the hand, "you must dine with us to-day, and hear the 
news Frank has brought us from our friends in Bourdeaux." 

Owen made one of his stiff bows pf respectful gratitude ; for, in 
those days, when the distance between superiors and inferiors was 
enforced in a manner to which the present times are strangers, such 
an invitation was a favour of some little consequence. 

I shall long remember that dinner-party. Deeply affected by 
feelings of anxiety, not unmingled with displeasure, I was unable 
to take that active share in the conversation which my father 
seemed to expect from me; and I too frequently gave unsatis- 
factory answers to the questions with which he assailed me. 
Owen, hovering betwixt his respect for his patron, and his love for 
the youth he had dandled on his knee in childhood, like the 
timorous yet anxious ally of an invaded nation, endeavoured at 
every blunder I made to explain my no-meaning, and to cover 
my retreat ; manoeuvres which added to my father's pettish dis- 
pleasure, and brought a share of it upon my kind advocate, instead 
of protecting me. I had not, while residing in the house of 
Dubourg, absolutely conducted myself like 

A clerk condemn'd his father's soul to cross. 
Who penn'd a stanza when he should engross ; — 


but, to say truth, I had frequented the counting-house no more 
than I had thought absolutely necessary to secure the good report 
of the Frenchman, long a correspondent of our firm, to whom my 
father had trusted for initiating me into the mysteries of com- 
merce. In fact, my principal attention had been dedicated to 
literature and manly exercises. My father did not altogether dis- 
courage such acquirements, whether mental or personal. He had 
too much good sense not to perceive, that they sate gracefully 
upon every man, and he was sensible that they relieved and 
dignified the character to which he wished me to aspire. But his 
chief ambition was, that I should succeed not merely to his for- 
tune, but to the views and plans by which he imagined he could 
extend and perpetuate the wealthy inheritance which he designed 
for me. 

Love of his profession was the motive which he chose should be 
most ostensible, when he urged me to tread the same path ; but he 
had others with which I only became acquainted at a later period. 
Impetuous in his schemes, as well as skilful and daring, each new 
adventure, when successful, became at once the incentive, and 
furnished the means, for farther speculation. It seemed to be 
necessary to him, as to an ambitious conqueror, to push on from 
achievement to achievement, without stopping to secure, far less to 
enjoy, the acquisitions which he made. Accustomed to see his 
whole fortune trembling in the scales of chance, and dexterous at 
adopting expedients for casting the balance in his favour, his 
health and spirits and activity seemed ever to increase with the 
animating hazards on which he staked his wealth ; and he re- 
sembled a sailor, accustomed to brave the billows and the foe, 
whose confidence rises on the eve of tempest or of battle. He was 
not, however, insensible to the changes which increasing age or 
supervening malady might make in his own constitution ; and was 
anxious in good time to secure in me an assistant, who might take 
the helm when his hand grew weary, and keep the vessel's way 
according to his counsel and instruction. Paternal affection, as 
well as the furtherance of his own plans, determined him to the 
same conclusion. Your father, though his fortune was vested in 
the house, was only a sleeping partner, as the commercial phrase 
goes ; and Owen, whose probity and skill in the details of arith- 
metic rendered his services invaluable as a head-clerk, was not 
possessed either of information or talents sufficient to conduct the 
mysteries of the principal management. If my father were sud- 
denly summoned from life, what would become of the world of 
schemes which he had formed, unless his son were moulded into a 
commercial Hercules, fit to sustain the weight when relinquished 

46 ROB ROY. 

by the falling Atlas ? and what would become of that son himself, 
if, a stranger to business of this description, he found himself at 
once involYed in the labyrinth of mercantile concerns, without the 
clew of knowledge necessary for his extraction? For all these 
reasons, avowed and secret, my father was determined I should 
embrace his profession ; and when he was determined, the resolu- 
tion of no man was more immovable. I, however, was also a party 
to be consulted, and, with something of his own pertinacity, I had 
formed a determiilation precisely contrary. 

It may, I hope, be some palliative for the resistance which, on . 
this occasion, I offered to my father's wishes, that I did not fully 
understand upon what they were founded, or how deeply his hap- 
piness was involve'd in them. Imagining myself certain of a large 
succession in future, and ample maintenance in the meanwhile, it 
never occurred to me that it might be necessary, in order to secure 
these blessings, to submit to labour and limitations unpleasant to 
my taste and temper. I only saw in my father's proposal for my 
engaging in business, a desire that I should add to those heaps of 
wealth which he had himself acquired ; and imagining myself the 
best judge of the path to my own happiness, I did not conceive 
that I should increase that happiness by augmenting a fortune 
which I believed was already sufficient, and more than sufficient, 
for every use, comfort, and elegant enjoyment. 

Accordingly, I am compelled to repeat, that my time at Bour- 
deaux had not been spent as my father had proposed to himself. 
What he considered as the chief end of my residence in that city, 
I had postponed for every other, and would (had I dared) have 
neglected it altogether. Dubourg, a favoured and benefited corre- 
spondent of our mercantile house, was too much of a shrewd 
politician to make such reports to the he^id of the firm concerning 
his only child, as would excite the displeasure of both; and he 
might also, as you will presently hear, have views of selfish advan- 
tage in suffering me to neglect the purposes for which I was placed 
under his charge. My conduct was regulated by the bounds of 
decency and good order, and thus far he had no evil report, to 
make, supposing him so disposed; but, perhaps, the crafty French- 
man would have been equally complaisant, had I been in the habit 
of indulging worse feelings than those of indolence and aversion to 
mercantile business. As it was, while I gave a decent portion of 
my time to the commercial studies he recommended, he was by no 
means envious of the hours which I dedicated to other and more 
classical attainments, nor did he ever find fault with me for 
dwelling upon Corneille and Bofleau, in ^preference to Postle- 
thwayte (supposing his folio to have then existed, and Monsieur 

ROB ROY. . 47 

Dubourg able to have pronounced his name), or Savaiy, or any 
other writer on commercial economy. He had picked up some- 
where a convenient expression, with which he rounded off every 
letter to his correspondent, — " I was all," he said, "that a fatter 
could wish." 

My father never quarrelled with a phrase, however frequently 
repeated, provided it seemed to him distinct and expressive ; and 
Addison himself could not have found expressions so satisfactory 
to him as, " Yours received, and duly honoured the bills inclose i, 
as per mai-gin." 

Knowing, therefore, very well what he desired me to be, Mr. 
Osbaldistone made no doubt, from the frequent repetition of Du- 
bourg's favourite phrase, that I was the very thing he wished to see 
me ; when, in an evil hour, he received my letter, containing my 
eloquent and detailed apology for declining a place in the firm, and 
a desk and stool in the corner of the dark counting-house in Crane 
Alley, surmounting in height those of Owen, and the other clerks, 
and only inferior to the tripod of my father himself. All was wrong 
from that moment. Dubourg's reports became as suspicious as if 
his bills had been noted for dishonour. I was summoned home in 
all haste, and received in the manner I have already communicated 
to you. 


I begin shrewdly to suspect the young man of a terrible taint — 
Poetry ; with which idle disease if he be infected, there's no hope 
01 him in a state course. Actum est of him for a commonwealth's 
man, if he go to 't in rhytne once. 

Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. 

My fkther had, generally speaking, his temper under complete 
self-command, and his anger rarely indicated itself by words, 
except in a sort of dry testy manner, to those who had displeased 
him. He never used threats, or expressions of loud resentment. 
All was arranged with him on system, and it was his practice to do 
" the needful " on every occasion, without wasting words about it. 
It was, therefore, with a bitter smile that he listened to my imper- 
fect answers concerning the state of commerce in France, and 
unmercifully permitted me to involve myself deeper and deeper in 
the mysteries of agio, tariffs, tare and tret ; nor can I charge my 
memory with his having looked positively angry, until he found me 
unable to explain the exact effect which the depreciation of the louis 
d'or had produced on the negotiation of bills of exchange. " The 

48 ROB ROY. 

most remarkable national occurrence in my time," said my father 
(who nevertheless had seen the Revolution), " and he knows no 
more of it than a post on the quay !" 

" Mr. Francis," suggested Owen, in his timid and conciliatory 
manner, " cannot have forgotten, that by an arret of the King of 
France, dated ist May, 1700, it was provided that the porteur, 
within ten days after due, must make demand " 

" Mr. Francis," said my father, interrupting him, " will, I dare 
say, recollect for the moment anything you are so kind as hint to 
him. — But, body o' me ! how Dubourg could permit him ! — Hark 
ye, Owen, what sort of a youth is Clement Dubourg, his nephew 
there, in the office, the black-haired lad } " 

" One of the cleverest clerks, sir, in the house ; a prodigious young 
man for his time," answered Owen ; for the gaiety and civility of 
the young Frenchman had won his heart. 

" Ay, ay, I suppose /le knows something of the nature of exchange.. 
Dubourg was determined I should have one youngster at least about 
my hand who understood business ; but I see his drift, and he shall 
find that I do so when he looks at the balance-sheet. Owen, let 
Clement's salary be paid up to next quarter-day, and let him ship 
himself back to Bourdeaux in his father's ship, which is clearing 
out yonder." 

" Dismiss Clement Dubourg, sir ? " said Owen, with a faltering 

" Yes, sir, dismiss him instantly ; it is enough to have a stupid 
Englishman in the counting-house to make blunders, without keep- 
ing a sharp Frenchman there to profit by them." 

I had lived long enough in the territories of the Grand Monarque 
to contract a hearty aversion to arbitrary exertion of authority, even 
if it had not been instilled into me with my earliest breeding ; and 
I could not refrain from interposing, to prevent an innocent and 
meritorious young man from paying the penalty of having acquired 
that proficiency which my father had desired for me. 

" I beg pardon, sir," when Mr. Osbaldistone had done speaking ; 
" but I think it but just, that if I have been negligent of my studies, 
I should pay the forfeit myself. I have no reason to charge Mon- 
sieur Dubourg with having neglected to give me opportunities of 
improvement, however little I may have profited by them; and, with 
respect to Monsieur Clement Dubourg " 

" With respect to him, and to you, I shall take the measures 
which I see needful," replied my father ; " but it is fair in you, 
Frank, to take your own blame on your own shoulders — ^very fair, 
that cannot be denied. — I cannot acquit old Dubourg,'' he said, 
looking to Owen, " for having merely afforded Frank the means of 



useful knowledge, without either seeing that he took advantage of 
them, or reporting to me if he did not. You see, Owen, he has 
natural notions of equity becoming a British merchant." 

" Mr. Francis," said the head-clerk, with his usual formal inclina- 
tion of the head, and a slight elevation of his right hand, which he 
had acquired by a habit of sticking his pen behind his ear before 
he spoke — " Mr. Francis seems to understand the fundamental 
principle of all moral accounting, the great ethic rule of three. Let 
A do to B', as he would have B do to him ; the product will give the 
rule of conduct required." 

My father smiled at this reduction of the golden rule to arith- 
metical form, but instantly proceeded. 

"All this signifies nothing, Frank ; you have been throwing away 
your time like a boy, and in future you must learn to live like a man. 
I shall put you under Owen's care for a few months, to recover the 
lost ground." 

I was about to reply, but Owen looked at me with such a suppli- 
catory and warning gesture, that I was involuntarily silent. 

" We will then," continued my father, " resume the subject of 
mine of the ist ultimo, to which you sent me an answer which was 
unadvised and unsatisfactory. So now, fill your glass, and push the 
bottle to Owen." 

Want of courage?=-of audacity, if you will — was never my failing. 
I answered firmly, " I was sorry that my letter was unsatisfactory, 
unadvised it was i^ot ; for I had given the proposal his goodness 
had made me, my instant and anxious attention, and it was with no 
small pain that I Ibund myself obliged to decline it." 

My father benphis keen eye for a moment on me, and instantly 
withdrew it. As /he made no answer, I thought myself obliged to 
proceed, though with some hesitation, and he only interrupted me 
by monosyllables. 

" It is impossible, sir, for me to have higher respect for any 
character than I have for the commercial, even were it not 


" It connects nation with nation, relieves the wants, and contri- 
butes to the wealth of all ; and is to the general commonwealth of 
the civilized world what the daily intercourse of ordinary life is to 
private society, or rather, what air and food are to our bodies." 

"Well, sir?" 

" And yet, sir, I find myself compelled to persist in declining to 
adopt a character which I am so ill qualified to support." 

" I will take care that you acquire the qualifications necessary. 
You are no longer the guest and pupil of Dubourg." 


50 ROB ROY. 

" But, fny dear sir, it is no defect of teaching which I plead, but 
my own inability to profit by instruction." 

" Nonsense : have you kept your journal in the terms I desired?" 

" Yes, sir." 

" Be pleased to bring it here.'' 

The volume thus required was a sort of commonplace book, kept 
by my father's recommendation, in which I had been directed to 
enter notes of the miscellaneous information which I had acquired 
in the course of my studies. Foreseeing that he would demand in- 
spection of this record, I had been attentive to transcribe such 
particulars of information as he would most likely be pleased with, 
but too often the pen had discharged the task without much corres- 
pondence with the head. And it had also happened, that, the book ■ 
being the receptacle nearest to my hand, I had occasionally jotted 
down memoranda which had little regard to traffic. I now put it 
into my father's hand, devoutly hoping he might light on nothing 
that would increase his displeasure against me. Owen's face, which 
had looked something blank when the question was put, cleared up 
at my ready answer, and wore a smile of hope, when I brought from 
my apartment, and placed before my father, a commercial-looking 
volume, rather broader than it was long, having brazen clasps and 
a binding of rough calf. This looked business-like, and was encou- 
raging to my benevolent well-wisher. But he actually smiled with 
pleasure as he heard my father run over some part of the contents, 
muttering his critical remarks as he went on. 

'^^ Brandies — Barils and barricants, also tonneaux. — At Nantz 
29 — Velles to the barique at Cognac and Rochelle 2'] — At Bourdeaux 
33 — Very right, Frank — Duties on tonnage and custom-house, see 
Saxby's Tables — That's not well ; you should have transcribed the 
passage ; it fixes the thing in the memory — Reports outward and 
inward — Corn debentures — Over-sea Cockets — Linens — Isingham 
— Gentish — Stock-fish — Titling — Cropling — Lub-fish. You should 
have noted that they are all, nevertheless, to be entered as titlings. 
— How many inches long is a titling ? " 

Owen, seeing me at fault, hazarded a whisper, of which I fortun- 
ately caught the import. 

" Eighteen inches, sir " 

" And a lub-fish is twenty-four — very right. It is important to 
remember this, on account of the Portuguese trade. — But what have 
we here ? — Bourdeaux founded in the year — Castle of the Trom- 
pette — Palace of Gallienus — Well, well, that's very right too.- — This 
is a kind of waste-book, Owen, in which all the transactions of the 
day, emptions, orders, payments, receipts, acceptances, draughts, 
commissions, and advices, are entered miscellaneously." 


" That they may be regularly transferred to the day-book and 
ledger," answered Owen : "I am glad Mr. Francis is so metho- 

I perceived myself getting so fast into favour, that I began to 
fear the consequence would be my father's more obstinate perse- 
verance in his resolution that I must become a merchant ; and, as 
I was determined on the contrary, 1 began to wish I had not,, to use 
my friend Mr. Owen's phrase, been so methodical. But I had no 
reason for apprehension on that score ; for a blotted piece of paper 
dropped out of the book, and, being taken up by my father, he 
interrupted a hint from Owen, on the propriety ot securing loose 
memoranda with a little paste, by exclaiming, " To the memory of 
Edward the Black Prince — What's all this ? — verses ! — By Heaven, 
Frank, you are a greater blockhead than I supposed you ! " 

My father, you must recollect, as a man of business, looked upon 
the labour of poets with contempt ; and as a religious man, and of 
the dissenting persuasion, he considered all such pursuits as equally 
trivial and profane. Before you condemn him, you must recall to 
remembrance how too many of the poets in the end of the seven- 
teenth century had led their lives and employed their talents. The 
sect also to which my father belonged, felt, or perhaps affected, a 
puritanical aversion to the lighter exertions of literature. So that 
many causes contributed to augment the unpleasant surprise 
occasioned by the ill-timed discovery of this unfortunate copy of 
verses. As for poor Owen, could the bob-wig which he then wore 
have uncurled itself, and stood on end with horror, I am convinced 
the morning's labour of the friseur would have been undone, merely 
by the excess of his astonishment at this enormity. An inroad on 
the strong-box, or an erasure in the ledger, or a mis-summation in 
a fitted account, could hardly have surprised him more disagreeably. 
My father read the lines sometimes with an affectation of not being 
able to understand the sense—sometimes in a mouthing tone of 
mock heroic — always with an emphasis of the most bitter irony, 
most irritating to the nerves of an author. i 

" ' O for the voice of that wild horn, 
On Fontarabian echoes borne, 

The dying hero's call. 
That told imperial Charlemagne, 
How Paynim sons of swarthy Spain 

Had wrought his champion's fall.' 

" Fontarabian echoes ! " continued my father, interrupting him- 
self ; "the Fontarabian Fair would have been more to the purpose. 
—Pflywi/w .*■— What's Paynim? — Could you not say Pagan as 

D 2 

Sa . . ROB ROY. 

well, and write English, at least, if you must needs write non- 
sense ? — 

" ' Sad over earth and ocean sounding, 
And England's distant cliffs astounding, 
Such are the notes should say 
How Britain's hope, and France's fear, 
Victor of Cressy and Poitier, 

In Bourdeaux dying lay.' 

" Poitiers, by the way, is always spelt with an s, and I know no 
reason why orthography should give place to rhyme. — 

" ' Raise my faint head, my squires,' he said, 
And let the casement be display'd, 

That I may see once more 
The splendour of the setting sun 
Gleam on thy mirror'd wave, Garonne, 

And Blaye's empurpled shore.' 

" Garonne and sun is a bad rhyme. Why, Frank, you do not 
even understand the beggarly trade you have chosen. — 

" 'Like me, he sinks Jo Glory's sleep, 
I His fall the dews of evening steep, 

As if in sorrow shed. 
So soft shall fall the trickling tear, 
When England's maids and matrons hear 
Of their Black Edward dead. 

" ' And though my sun of glory set, 
Nor France, nor England shall forget 

The terror of my name ; 
And oft shall Britain's heroes rise. 
New planets in these southern skies, 

Through clouds of blood and flame.' 

" A cloud of flame is something new — Good-morrow, my mas- 
ters all, and a merry Christmas to you ! — Why, the bellman 
writes better lines." He then tossed the paper from him with an 
air of superlative contempt, and concluded — " Upon my credit, 
Frank, you are a greater blockhead than I took you for." 

What could I say, my dear Tresham ? There I stood, swelling 
with indignant mortification, while my father regarded me with 
a calm but a stern look of scorn and pity ; and poor Owen, with 
uplifted hands and eyes, looked as striking a picture of horror as 
if he liad just read his patron's name in the Gazette. At length I 
took courage to speak, endeavouring that my tone of voice should 
betray my feelings as little as possible. 

" I am quite awarCj sir, how ill qualified I am to play the con-- 
spicuous part in society you have destined for me ; and, luckily, I 

ROB ROY. 53 

am not ambitious of the wealth I might acquire. Mr. Owen would 
be a much more effective assistant." I said this in some malice, 
for I considered Owen as having deserted my cause a little too 

" Owen ! " said my father — " The boy is mad, actually insane. 
And, pray, sir, if I may presume to inquire, having coolly turned mc 
over to Mr. Owen (although I may expect more attention from any 
one than from my son), what may your own sage projects be ? " 

" I should wish, sir," I replied, summoning up my courage, " to 
travel for two or three years, should that consist with your pleasure ; 
otherwise, although late, I would willingly spend the same time at 
Oxford or Cambridge." 

" In the name of common sense ! was the like ever heard ? — to 
put yourself to school among pedants and Jacobites, when you 
might be pushing your fortune in the world ! Why not go to West- 
minster or Eton at once, man, and take to Lilly's Grammar and 
Accidence, and to the birch, too, if you like it ? " 

" Then, sir, if you think my plan of improvement too late, I would 
willingly return to the Continent." 

" You have already spent too much time there to little purpose, 
Mr. Francis." 

" Then I would choose the army, sir, in preference to any other 
active line of life." 

" Choose the d — 1 ! " answered my father, hastily, and then check- 
ing himself — " I profess you make me as great a fool as you arc 
yourself. Is he not enough to drive one mad, Owen?" — Poor 
Owen shook his head, and looked down. " Hark ye, Frank," con- 
tinued my father, " I will cut all this matter very short. — I was at 
your age when my father turned me out of doors, and settled my 
legal inheritance on my younger brother. I left Osbaldistone-Hall 
on the back of a broken-down hunter, with ten guineas in my purse. 
I have never crossed the threshold again, and I never will. I know 
not, and I care not, if my fox-hunting brother is alive, or has broken 
his neck ; but he has children, Frank, and one of them shall be my 
son if you cross me farther in this matter." 

" You will do your pleasure," I answered, rather, I fear, with more 
sullen indifference than respect, " with what is your own." 

" Yes, Frank, what I have is my own, if labour in getting, and 
care in augmenting, can make a right of property ; and no drone 
shall feed on my honeycomb. Think on it well : what I have said 
is not without reflection, and what I resolve upon I will execute." 

" Honoured sir ! — dear sir ! " exclaimed Owen, tears rushing into 
his eyes, " you are not wont to be in such a hurry in transacting 
business of importance. Let Mr. Francis run up the balance be- 


fore you shut the account ; he loves you, I am sure ;, and when he 
puts down his fiHal obedience to the per contra, I am sure his ob- 
jections will disappear." 

" Do you think I will ask him twice," said my father, sternly, " to 
be my friend, my assistant, and my confidant ? — to be a partner of 
my cares and of my fortune ? — Owen, I thought you had known me 

He looked at me as if he meant to add something more, but 
turned instantly away, and left the room abruptly. I was, I own, 
affected by this view of the case, which had not occurred to me ; 
and my father would probably have had little I'eason to complain 
of me, had he commenced the discussion with this argument. 

But it was too late. I had much of his own obduracy of reso- 
lution, and Heaven had decreed that my sin should be my punish- 
ment, though not to the extent which my transgression merited. 
Owen, when we were left alone, continued to look at me with eyes 
which tears from time to time moistened as if to discover, before 
attempting the task of intercessor, upon what point my obstinacy 
was most assailable. At length he began, with broken and dis- 
concerted accents,^" O L — d, Mr. Francis ! — Good Heavens, sir ! 
— My stars, Mr. Osbaldistone ! —that I should ever have seen this 
day-^and you so young a gentleman, sir ! — For the love of Heaven ! 
look at both sides of the account — Think what you are going to 
lose-^a noble fortune, sir — one of the finest houses in the City, even 
under the old firm of Tresham and Trent, and now Osbaldistone 
and Tresham — You might roll in gold, Mr. Francis — And, my dear 
young Mr. Frank, if there was any particular thing in the business 
of the house which you disliked, I would " (sinking his voice to 
a whisper) " put it in order for you termly, or weekly, or daily, if you 
will — Do, my dear Mr. Francis, think of the honour due to your 
father, that your days may be long in the land." 

"I am much obliged to you, Mr. Owen," said I, — "very much 
obliged indeed ; but my father is best judge how to bestow his 
money. He talks of one of my cousins — let him dispose of his 
wealth as he pleases, I will never sell my liberty for gold." 

" Gold, sir?— I wish you saw the balance-sheet of profits at last 
term — It was in five figures — five figures to each partner's sum total, 
Mr. Frank— And all this is to go to a Papist, and a north-country 
booby, and a disaffected person besides^It will break my heart 
Mr. Francis, that have been toiling more like a dog than a man, 
and all for love of the firm. Think how it will sound, Osbaldistone 
Tresham, and Osbaldistone— or perhaps, who knows " (again low- 
ering his voice), " Osbaldistone, Osbaldistone, and Tresham, for 
our Mr. Osbaldistone can buv them all out." 


'"But, Mr. Owen, my cousin's name being also Osbaldistone, the 
n.ime of the company will sound every bit as well in your ears." 

" O fie upon you, Mr. Francis, when you know how well I love 
you — Your cousin, indeed ! — a Papist, no doubt, like his father, and 
a disaffected person to the Protestant succession — that's another 
item, doubtless." 

" There are many very good men Catholics, Mr. Owen,'' re- 
joined I. 

As Owen was about to answer with unusual animation, my father 
re-entered the apartment. 

" You were right," he said, " Owen, and I was wrong ; we will 
take more time to think over this matter. — Young man, you will 
prepare to give me an answer on this important subject this day 

I bowed in silence, sufficiently glad of a reprieve, and trusting it 
might indicate some relaxation in my father's determination. 

The time of probation passed slowly, unmarked by any accident 
whatever. I went and came, and disposed of my time as I pleased, 
without question or criticism on the part of my father. Indeed, I 
rarely saw him, save at meal times, when he studiously avoided 
a discussion which you may well suppose I was in no hurry to press 
onward. Our conversation was of the news of the day, or on such 
general topics as strangers discourse updn to each other ; nor could 
any one have guessed, from its tenor, that there remained undecided 
betwixt us a dispute of such importance. It haunted me, however, 
more than once, like the nightmare. Was it possible he would keep 
his word, and disinherit his only son in favour of a nephew whose 
very existence he was not perhaps quite certain of? My grand- 
father's conduct, in similar circumstances, boded me no good, had 
I considered the matter rightly. But I had formed an erroneous 
idea of my father's character, from the importance which I recol- 
lected I maintainfed with him and his whole family before I went to 
France. I was not aware that there are men who indulge their 
children at an early age, because to do so interests and amuses 
them, and who can yet be sufficiently severe when the same children 
cross their expectations at a more advanced period. On the con- 
trary, I persuaded myself, that all I had to apprehend, was some 
temporary alienation of affection — perhaps a rustication of i few 
weeks, which I thought would rather please me than otherwise, 
since it would give me an opportunity of setting about my unfinished 
version of Orlando Furioso, a poem which I longed to render into 
English verse. I suffered this belief to get such absolute possession 
of my mind, that 1 had resumed my blotted papers, and was busy in 
meditation on the oft-recurring rhymes of the Spenserian stanza, 

56 ROB ROY. 

when I heard a low and cautious tap at the door of my apartment. 
" Come in," I said, and Mr. Owen entered. So regular were the 
motions and habits of this worthy man, that in all probabihty this 
was the first time he had ever been in the second story of his 
patron's house, however conversant with the first ; and I am still at 
a loss to know in what manner he discovered my apartment. 

" Mr. Francis," he said, interrupting my expression of surprise 
and pleasure at seeing him, " I do not know if I am doing well in 
what I am about to say — it is not right to speak of what passes in 
the compting-house out of doors — one should not tell, as they say, 
to the post in the warehouse, how many lines there are in the ledger. 
But young Twineall,has been absent from the house for a fortnight 
and more, until two days since.'' 

"Very well, my dear sir, and how does that concern us?" 

" Stay, Mr. Francis ; — your father gave him a private commission ; 
and I am sure he did not go down to Falmouth about the pilchard 
affair ; and the Exeter business with Blackwell and Company has 
been settled ; and the mining people in Cornwall, Trevanion and 
TreguiUiam, have paid all they are likely to pay ; and any other 
matter of business must have been put through my books : — in 
short, it's my faithful belief that Twineall has been down in the 

" Do you really suppose so ?" said I, somewhat startled. 

" He has spoken about nothing, sir, since he returned, but his 
new boots, and his Rippon spurs, and a cock-fight at York — it's as 
true as the multiplication-table. Do, Heaven bless you, my dear 
child, make up your mind to please your father, and to be a man 
and a merchant at once." 

I felt at that instant a strong inclination to submit, and to make 
Owen happy by requesting him to tell my father that I resigned 
myself to his disposal. But pride — pride, the source of so much 
that is good and so much that is evil in our course of life, prevented 
me. My acquiescence stuck in my throat ; and while I was cough- 
ing to get it up, my father's voice summoned Owen. He hastily 
left the room, and the opportunity was lost. 

My father was methodical in everything. At the very same time 
of the day, in the same apartment, and with the same .tone and 
manner which he had employed an exact month before, he re- 
capitulated the proposal he had made for taking me into partner- 
ship, and assigning me a department in the counting-house, and 
requested to have my final decision. I thought at the time there 
was something unkind in this ; and I still think that my father's 
conduct was injudicious. A more conciliatory treatment would, in 
all probabihty have gained his purpose. As it was, I stood fast. 

ROB ROY. 57 

and, as respectfully as I could, declined the proposal he made to 
me. Perhaps, — for who can judge of their own heart? — I felt it 
unmanly to yield on the first summons, and expected farther solici- 
tation, as at least a pretext for changing my mind. If so, I was 
disappointed ; for my father turned coolly to Owen, and only said, 
" You see it is as I told you. — Well, Frank," (addressing me), " you 
are nearly of age, and as well qualified to judge of what will con- 
stitute your own happiness as you ever are like to be ; therefore, I 
say no more. But as I am not bound to give in to your plans, any 
more than you are compelled to submit to mine, may I ask to know 
if you have formed any which depend on my assistance?" 

I answered, not a little abashed, " That being bred to no pro- 
fession, and having no funds of my own, it was obviously impossible 
for me to subsist without some allowance from my father ; that my 
wishes were very moderate ; and that I hoped my aversion for the 
profession to which he had designed me, would not occasion his 
altogether withdrawing his paternal support and protection." 

" That is to say, you wish to lean on my arm, and yet to walk 
your own way ? That can hardly be, Frank ; — however, I suppose 
you mean to obey my directions, so far as they do not cross your 
own humour ? " 

I was about to speak — " Silence, if you please," he continued. 
"Supposing this to be the case, you will instantly set out for the 
North of England, to pay your uncle a visit, and see the state of 
his family. I have chosen from among his sons (he has six, I 
believe) one who, I understand, is most worthy to fill the place I 
intended for you in the counting-house. But some farther arrange- 
ments may be necessary, and for these your presence may be 
requisite. You shall have farther instructions at Osbaldistone 
Hall, where you will please to remain until you hear from me. 
Everything will be ready for your departure to-morrow morning." 

With these words my father left the apartment. 

" What does all this mean, Mr. Owen?" said I to my sympathetic 
friend, whose countenance wore a cast of the deepest dejection. 

" You have ruined yourself, Mr. Frank, that's all ; when your 
father talks in that quiet determined manner, there will be no more 
change in him than in a fitted account." 

And so it proved ; for the next morning, at five o'clock, I found 
myself on the road to York, mounted on a reasonably good horse, 
and with fifty guineas in my pocket ; travelling, as it would seem, 
for the purpose of assisting in the adoption of a successor to myselt 
in my father's house and favour, and,, for aught I knew, eventually 
in his fortune also. 



The slack sail shifts from side to side, 
The boat, untrimm'd, admits the tide, 
Borne dovm, adrift, at random tost, 
The oar breaks short, the rudder's lost. 

Gay's Fables. 

I HAVE tagged with rhyme and blank verse the subdivisions of 
this important narrative, in order to seduce your continued atten- 
tion by powers of composition of stronger attraction than my own. 
The preceding lines refer to an unfortunate navigator, who daringly 
unloosed frotn its moorings a boat, which he was unable to manage, 
and thrust it off into the fuU tide of a navigable river. No school- 
boy, who, betwixt frolic and defiance, has executed a similar rash 
attempt, could feel himself, when adrift in a strong current, in a 
situation more awkward than mine, when I found myself driving, 
without a compass, on the ocean of human life. There had been 
such unexpected ease in the manner in which my father slipt a 
knot, usually esteemed the strongest which binds society together, 
and suffered me to depart as a sort of outcast from his family, that 
it strangely lessened the confidence in my own personal accom- 
plishments, which bad hitherto sustained me. Prince Prettyman, 
now a prince, and now a fisher's son, had not a more awkward 
sense of his degradation. We are so apt, in our engrossing 
egotism, to consider all those accessories which are drawn around 
us by prosperity, as pertaining and belonging to our own persons, 
that the discovery of our unimportance, when left to our own 
proper resources, becomes inexpressibly mortifying. As the hum 
of London died away on my ear, the distant peal of her steeples 
more than once sounded to my ears the admonitory " Turn 
again," erst heard by her future Lord Mayor ; and when I looked 
back from Highgate on her dusky magnificence, I felt as if I were 
leaving behind me comfort, opulence, the charms of society, and 
all the pleasures of cultivated life. 

But the die was cast. It was indeed by no means probable that 
a late and ungracious compliance with my father's wishes would 
have reinstated me in the situation which I had lost. On the 
contrary, firm and strong of purpose as he himself was, he might 
rather have been disgusted than conciliated by my tardy and com- 
pulsory acquiescence in his desire that I should engage in com- 
merce. My constitutional obstinacy came also to my aid, and 
pride whispered how poor a figure I should make, when an airing of 


four miles from London had blown away resolutions formed during 
a month's serious deliberation. Hope, too, that never forsakes the 
young and hardy, lent her lustre to my future prospects. My 
father could not be serious in the sentence of foris-familiation, 
which he had so unhesitatingly pronounced. It must be but a 
trial of my disposition, which, endured with patience and steadi- 
ness on my part, would raise me in his estimation, and lead to an 
amicable accommodation of the point in dispute between us. I 
even settled in my own mind how far I would concede to him, and 
on what articles of our supposed treaty I would make a firm stand ; 
and the result was, according to my computation, that I was to be 
reinstated in my full rights of filiation, paying the easy penalty of 
some ostensible compliances to atone for my past rebellion. 

In the meanwhile, I was lord of my person, and experienced 
that feeling of independence which the youthful bosom receives 
with a thrilling mixture of pleasure and apprehension. My purse, 
though by no means amply replenished, was in a situation to 
supply all the wants and wishes of a traveller. I had been ac- 
customed, while at Bourdeaux, to act as my own valet ; my horse 
was fresh, young, and active, and the buoyancy of my spirits soon 
surmounted the melancholy reflections with which my journey 
commenced. ■• 

I should have been glad to have journej|ed upon a line of road 
better calculated to afford reasonable objects of curiosity, or a 
more interesting country, to the traveller. But the north road was 
then, and perhaps still is, singularly deficient in these respects ; 
nor do I believe you can travel so far through Britain in any other 
direction without meeting more of what is worthy to engage the 
attention. My mental ruminations, notwithstanding my assumed 
confidence, were not always of an unchequered nature. The Muse 
too — the very coquette who had led me into this wilderness — like 
others of her sex, deserted me in my utmost need ; and I should 
Iiave been reduced to rather an uncomfortable state of dulness, 
had it not been for the occasional conversation of strangers who 
chanced to pass the same way. But the characters whom I met 
with were of a uniform and uninteresting description. Country 
parsons, jogging homewards after a visitation ; farmers, or graziers, 
returning from a distant market ; clerks of traders, travelling to 
collect what was due to their masters in provincial towns ; with 
now and then an officer going down into the country upon the 
recruiting service, were, at this period, the persons by whom the 
turnpikes and tapsters were kept in exercise. Our speech, there- 
fore, was of tithes and creeds, of beeves and grain, of commodities 
wet and dry, and the solvency of the retail dealers, occasionally 

6o ROB ROY. 

varied by the description of a siege, or battle, in Flanders, which, 
perhaps, the narrator only gave me at second hand. Robbers, a 
fertile and alarming theme, filled up every vacancy; and the names 
of the Golden Farmer, the Flying Highwayman, Jack Needham, 
and other Beggars' Opera heroes, were familiar in our mouths as 
household words. At such tales, like children closing their circle 
round the fire when the ghost story draws to its climax, the riders 
drew near to each other, looked before and behind them, examined 
the priming of their pistols, and vowed to stand by each other in 
case of danger; an engagement which, like other offensive and 
defensive alliances, sometimes glided out of remembrance when 
there was an appearance of actual peril. 

Of all the fellows whom I evejr saw haunted by terrors of this 
nature, one poor man, with whom I travelled a day and a half, 
afforded me most amusement. He had upon his pillion a very 
small, but apparently a very weighty portmanteau, about the safety 
of which he seemed particularly solicitous ; never trusting it out of 
his own immediate care, and uniformly repressing the officious zeal 
of the waiters and ostlers, who offered their services to carry it into 
the house. With the same precaution he laboured to conceal, not 
only the purpose of his journey, and his ultimate place of desti- 
nation, but even the direction of each day's route. Nothing em- 
barrassed him more than to be asked by any one, whether he was 
travelling upwards or downwards, or at what stage he intended to 
bait. His place of rest for the night he scrutinized with the most 
anxious care, alike avoiding solitude, and what he considered as 
bad neighbourhood; and at Grantham, I believe, he sate up all 
night to avoid sleeping in the next room to a thick-set squinting 
fellow, in a black wig, and a tarnished gold-laced waistcoat. With 
all these cares on his mind, my fellow-traveller, to judge by his 
thewes and sinews, was a man who might have set danger at 
defiance with as much impunity as most men. He was strong, 
and well-built ; and, judging from his gold-laced hat and cockade, 
seemed to have served in the army, or at least to belong to the 
military profession in one capacity or other. His conversation 
also, though always Sufficiently vulgar, was that of a man of sense, 
when the terrible bugbears which haunted his imagination for a 
moment ceased to occupy his attention. But every accidental 
association recalled them. An open heath, a close plantation, 
were alike subjects of apprehension; and the whistle of a shepherd 
lad was instantly converted into the signal of a depredator. Even 
the sight of a gibbet, if it assured him that one robber was safely 
disposed of by justice, never failed to remind him how many 
remained still unhanged. 

ROB ROY. 6i 

I should have weaned of this fellow's company had I not been 
still more tired of my own thoughts. Some of the marvellous 
stories, however, which he related, had in themselves a cast of 
interest, and another whimsical point of his peculiarities afforded 
me the occasional opportunity of amusing myself at his expense. 
Among his tales, several of the unfortunate travellers who fell 
among thieves incurred that calamity from associating themselves 
on the road with a well-dressed and entertaining stranger, in whose 
company they trusted to find protection as well as amusement ; 
who cheered their journey with tale and song, protected them 
against the evils of overcharges and false reckonings, until at 
length, under pretext of showing a near path, over a desolate com- 
mon, he seduced his unsuspicious victims from the public road 
into some dismal glen, where, suddenly blowing his whistle, he 
assembled his comrades from their lurking-place, and displayed 
himself in his true colours, the captain, namely, of the band of 
robbers to whom his unwary fellow-travellers had forfeited their 
purses, and perhaps their lives. Towards the conclusion of such 
a tale, and when my companion had wrought himself into a fever 
of apprehension by the progress of his own narrative, I observed 
that he usually eyed me with a glance of doubt and suspicion, as if 
the possibility occurred to him, that he might, at that very moment, 
be in company with a character as dangerous as that which his 
tale described. And ever and anon, when such suggestions pressed 
themselves on the mind of this ingenious self-tormentor, he drew 
off from me to the opposite side of the high road, looked before, 
behind, and around him, examined his arms, and seemed to pre- 
pare himself for flight or defence, as circumstances might require. 

The suspicion implied on such occasions seemed to me only 
momentary, and too ludicrous to be offensive. There was, in fact, 
no particular reflection on my dress or address, although I was 
thus mistaken for a robber. A man in those days might have all 
the external appearance of a gentleman, and yet turn out to be a 
highwayman. For the division of labour in every department not 
having then taken place so fully as since that period, the profession 
of the polite and accomplished adventurer, who picked you out of 
your money at White's, or bowled you out of it at Marybone, was 
often united with that of the professed ruffian, who on Bagshot Heath, 
or Finchley Common, commanded his brother be^iu to stand and 
deliver. There was also a touch of coarseness and hardness about 
the manners of the times, which has since, in a great degree, been 
softened and shaded away. It seems to me, on recollection, as if 
desperate men had less reluctance then than now, to embrace the 
most desperate means of retrieving their fortune. The times were 

62 ROB ROY. 

indeed past, when Anthony-a-Wood mourned over the execution of 
two men, goodly in person, and of undisputed courage and honour, 
who were hanged without mercy at Oxford, merely because their 
distress had driven them to raise contributions on the highway. 
We were still farther removed from the days of " the mad Prince 
and Poins." And yet, from the number of unenclosed and exten- 
sive heaths in the vicinity of the metropolis, and from the less 
populous state of remote districts, both were frequented by that 
species of mounted highwaymen, that may possibly become one 
day unknown, who carried on their trade with something like 
courtesy ; and, like Gibbet in the Beaux Stratagem, piqued them- 
selves on being the best behaved men on the road, and on con- 
ducting themselves with all appropriate civility in the exercise of 
their vocation. A young man, therefore, in my circumstances, was 
not entitled to be highly indignant at the mistake which confounded 
him with this worshipful class of depredators. 

Neither was I offended. On the contrary, I found amusement 
in alternately exciting, and lulling to sleep, the suspicions of my 
timorous companion, and in purposely so acting as still farther to 
puzzle a brain which nature and apprehension had combined to 
render none of the clearest. When my free conversation had lulled 
him into complete security, it required only a passing inquiry con- 
cerning the direction of his journey, or the nature of the business 
which occasioned it, to put his suspicions once more in arms. For 
example, a conversation on the comparative strength and activity 
of our horses, took such a turn as follows : — 

" O sir," said my companion, " for the gallop, I grant you ; but 
allow me to say, your horse (although he is a very handsome geld- 
ing — that must be owned) has too little bone to be a good roadster. 
The trot, sir" (striking his Bucephalus with his spurs), " the trot is 
the true pace for a hackney ; and, were we near a town, I should 
like to try that daisy-cutter of yours upon a piece of level road 
(barring canter) for a quart of claret at the next inn." 

" Content, sir," replied I ; "and here is a stretch of ground very 

" Hem, ahem,'' answered my friend with hesitation ; " I make it 
a rule of travelling never to blow my horse between stages ; one 
never knows what occasion he may have to put him to his mettle : 
and besides, sir, when I said I would match you, I meant with 
even weight ; you ride four stone Ughter than I." 

" Very well ; but I am content to carry weight. Pray, what may 
that portmanteau of yours weigh?" 

" My p — p — portmanteau ?" replied he, hesitating — " O very little 
— a feather — just a few shirts and stockings." 

KOB ROY. 63 

" I should think it heavier, from its appearance. I'll hold you 
the quart of claret it makes the odds betwixt our weight." 

" You're mistaken, sir, I assure you — quite mistaken," replied my 
friend, edging off to the side of the road, as was his wont on these 
alarming occasions. 

"Well, I'm willing to venture the wine ; or, I will bet you ten 
pieces to five, that I carry your portmanteau on my croupe, and 
out-trot you into the bargain." 

This proposal raised my friend's alarm to the uttermost. His 
nose changed from the natural copper hue which it had acquired 
from many a comfortable cup of claret or sack, into a palish brassy 
tint, and his teeth chattered with apprehension at the unveiled 
audacity of my proposal, which seemed to place the barefaced 
plunderer before him in full atrocity. As he faltered for an answer, 
I relieved him in some degree by a question concerning a steeple, 
which now became visible, and an observation that we were now 
so near the village as to run no risk from interruption on the road. 
At this his countenance cleared up : but I easily perceived that it 
Tyas long ere he forgot a proposal which seemed to him so fraught 
with suspicion as that which I had now hazarded. I trouble you 
with this detail of the man's disposition, and the manner in which 
I practised upon it, because, however trivial in themselves, these 
particulars were attended by an important influence on future in- 
cidents which will occur in this narrative. At the time, this per- 
son's conduct only inspired me with contempt, and confirmed me 
in an opinion which I already entertained, that of all the propensi- 
ties which teach mankind to torment themselves, that of causeless 
fear is the most irritating, busy, painful, and pitiable. 


The Scots are poor, cries surly English pride. 
True is the charge ; nor by themselves denied. 
Are they not, then, in strictest reason clear. 
Who wisely come to mend their fortunes here .-' 


There was, in the days of which I write, an old-fashioned 
custom on the English road, which I suspect is now obsolete, or 
practised only by the vulgar. Journeys of length being made on 
horseback, and, of course, by brief stages, it was usual always to 
make a halt on the Sunday in some town where the traveller might 
£ittend divine service, and' his horse have the benefit of the day of 
rest, the institution of which is as humane to our brute labourers 

«4 ROB ROY. 

as profitable to ourselves. A counterpart to this decent practice, 
and a remnant of old English hospitality, was, that the landlord of 
a principal inn laid aside his character of publican on the seventh 
day, and invited the guests who chanced to be within his walls to 
take a part of his family beef and pudding. This invitation was 
usually complied with by all whose distinguished rank did not 
induce them to think compliance a derogation ; and the proposal 
of a bottle of wine after dinner, to drink the landlord's health, was 
the only recompense ever offered or accepted. 

I was bom a citizen of the world, and my inclination led me into 
all scenes where my knowledge of mankind could be enlarged ; I 
had, besides, no pretensions to sequester myself on the score of 
superior dignity, and therefore seldom failed to accept of- the 
Sunday's hospitality of mine host, whether of the Garter, Lion, or 
Bear. The honest pubhcan, dilated into additional consequence 
by a sense of his own importance, while presiding among the 
guests on whom it was his ordinary duty to attend, was in himself 
an entertaining spectacle ; and around his genial orbit, other 
planets of inferior consequence performed their revolutions. The 
wits and humourists, the distinguished worthies of the town or 
village, the apothecary, the attorney, even the curate himself, did 
not disdain to partake of this hebdomadal festivity. The guests, 
assembled from different quarters, and following different profes- 
sions, formed, in language, manners, and sentiments, a curious 
contrast to each other, not indifferent to those who desired to 
possess a knowledge of mankind in its varieties. 

It was on such a day, and such an occasion, that my timorous 
acquaintance and I were about to grace the board of the ruddy- 
faced host of the Black Bear, in the town of Darlington, and 
bishoprick of Durham, when our landlord informed us, with a sort 
of apologetic tone, that there was a Scotch gentleman to dine 
with us. 

"A gentleman! — what sort of a gentleman.?" said my com- 
panion, somewhat hastily, his mind, I suppose, running on gentle- 
men of the pad, as they were then termed. 

" Why, a Scotch sort of a gentleman, as I said before," returned 
mine host; "they are all gentle, ye mun know, though they ha' 
narra shirt to back ; but this is a decentish hallion — a canny North 
Briton as e'er cross'd Berwick Bridge — ^I trow he's a dealer in 

" Let us have his company, by all means," answered my com- 
panion ; and then, turning to me, he gave vent to the tenor of his 
own reflections. " I respect the Scotch, sir ; I love and honour 
the nation for their sense of morality. Men talk of their filth and 

ROB ROY. 65 

their poverty : but commend me to sterling honesty, though clad 
in rags, as the poet saith. I have been credibly assured, sir, by 
men on whom I can depend, that there was never Icnown sucli a 
thing in Scotland as a highway robbery." 

" That's because they have nothing to lose," said mine host, with 
the chuckle of a self-applauding wit. 

" No, no, landlord," answered a strong deep voice behind him, 
" it's e'en because your English gaugers and supervisors,* that you 
have sent down benorth the Tweed, have taen up the trade of 
thievery over the heads of the native professors." 

" Well said, Mr. Campbell ! " answered the landlord ; " I did not 
think thoud'st been sae near us, mon. But thou kens I'm an out- 
spoken Yorkshire tyke — ^And how go markets in the south ?" 

" Kven in the ordinar," replied Mr. Campbell ; " wise folks buy 
and sell, and fools are bought and sold." 

" But wise men and fools both eat their dinner," answered our 
jolly entertainer ; " and here a comes — as prime a buttock of beef as 
e'er hungry mon stuck fork in." 

So saying, he eagerly whetted his knife, assumed his seat of 
empire at the head of th6 board, and loaded the plates of his sundry 
guests with his good cheer. 

This was the first time I had heard the Scottish accent, or, 
indeed, that I had familiarly met with an individual of the ancient 
nation by whom it was spoken. Yet, from an early period, they 
had occupied and interested my imagination. My father, as is 
well known to you, was of an ancient family in Northumberland, 
from whose seat I was, while eating the aforesaid dinner, not very 
many miles distant. The quarrel betwixt him and his relatives 
was such, that lie scarcely ever mentioned the race from which he 
sprung, and held as the most contemptible species of vanity, the 
weakness which is commonly termed family pride. His ambition 
was only to be distinguished as William Osbaldistone, the first, at 
least one of the first, merchants on Change ; and to have proved 
him the lineal representative of William the Conqueror, would 
have far less flattered his vanity than the hum and bustle which 
his approach was wont to produce among the bulls, bears, and 
brokers of Stock-alley. He wished, no doubt, that I should remain 
in such ignorance of my relatives and descent as might insure a 
correspondence between my feelings and his own on this subject. 
But his designs, as will happen occasionally to the wisest, were, in 
some degree at least, counteracted by a^ being whom his pride 
would never have supposed of importance adequate to influence 
them in any way. His nurse, an old Northumbrian woman, 
attached to him from his infancy, was the only person connected 


66 ROB ROY. 

with his native province for whom he retained any regard ; and 
when fortune dawned upon him, one of the first uses which he 
' made of her favours, was to give Mabel Rickets a place of residence 
within his household. After the death of my miother, the care of 
nursing me during my childish illnesses, and of rendering all those 
tender attentions which infancy exacts from female affection, de- 
volved on old Mabel. Interdicted by'her master from speaking to 
him on the subject of the heaths, glades, and dales of her beloved 
Northumberland, she poured herself forth to my infant ear in 
descriptions of the scenes of her youth, and long narratives of the 
events which tradition declared to have passed amongst them. 
To these I inclined my ear much more seriously than to graver, 
but less animated instructors. Even yet, methinks I see old 
Mabel, her head slightly agitated by the palsy of age, and shaded 
by a close cap, as white as the driven snow, — her face wrinkled, 
but still retaiiiing the healthy tinge which it had acquired in rural 
labour — I think I see her look around on the brick walls and 
narrow street which presented themselves before our windows, as 
she concluded with a sigh the favourite old ditty, which I then 
preferred, and — why should I liot tell the truth ? — which I still 
prefer to all the opera airs ever minted by the capricious brain of 
an Italian Mus. D. — 

Oh, the oak, the ash, and the bonny ivy tree. 
They flourish best at home in the North Countrie. 

, Now, in the legends of Mabel, the Scottish nation was ever freshly 
remembered, with all the embittered declamation of which the 
narrator was capable. The inhabitants of the opposite frontier 
served in her narratives to fill up the parts which ogres and giants 
with seven-leagued boots occupy in the, ordinary nursery tales. 
And how could it be otherwise ? Was it not the Black Douglas 
who slew with his own hand the heir of the Osbaldistone family 
the day after he took possession of his estate, surprising him and 
his vassals while solemnizing a feast suited to the occasion ? Wais 
it not Wat the Devil who drove all the' year-old hogs off the braos 
of Lanthom-side, in the very recent days of my grandfather's 
father? And had we not many a trophy, but, according to Old 
Mabel's version of history, far more honourably gained, to m,ark 
our revenge of these wrongs ? Did not Sir Henry Osbaldistone, 
fifth baron of the name, carry off the fair maid of Fairnington, as 
Achilles did his Chryseis and Briseis of old, and detain her in his 
fortress against all the power of her friends, supported by the most 
mighty Scottish chiefs of warlike fame ? And had not our swords 
shone foremost at most of those fields in which England was vi<;. 

ROB ROY. 67 

tovioiis over her rival? All our family renown was acquired — all 
our family misfortunes were occasioned — by the northern wars. 

Wai-med by such tales, I looked upon the Scottish people during 
my childhood, as a race hostile by nature to the more southern 
inhabitants of this realm ; and this view of the matter was not much 
corrected by the language which my father sometimes held with 
respect to them. He had engaged in some large speculations con- 
cerning oak-woods, the property of Highland proprietors, and 
alleged, that he found them much more ready to make bargains, 
and extort earnest of the purchase-money, than punctual in com- 
plying on their side with the terms of the engagements. The 
Scotch mercantile men, whom he was under the necessity of em- 
ploying as a sort of middle-men on these occasions, were also sus- 
pecte'd by my father of having secured, by one means or other, 
more than their own share of the profit which ought to have accrued. 
In short, if Mabel complained of the Scottish arms in ancient 
times, Mr. Osbaldistone inveighed no less against the arts of these 
modem Sinons ; and between them, though without any fixed 
purpose of doing so, they impressed my youthful mind with a sin- 
cere aversion to the northern inhabitants of Britain, as a people 
bloodthirsty in time of war, treacherous during truce, interested, 
selfish, avaricious, and tricky in the business of peaceful life, and 
having few good qualities, unless there should be accounted such, 
a ferocity wTiich resembled courage in martial affairs, and a sort 
of wily craft which supplied the place of wisdom in the ordinary 
commerce of mankind. In justification, or apology, for those who 
entertain such prejudices, I must remark, that the Scotch of that 
period were guilty of similar injustice to the English, whom they 
branded universally as a race of purse-proud arrogant epicures. 
Such seeds of national dislike remained between the two countries, 
the natural consequences of their existence as separate and rival 
states. We have seen recently the breath of a demagogue blow 
these sparks into a temporary flame, which I sincerely hope is now 
extinguished in its own ashes.* 

It was, then, with an expression of dislike, that I contemplated 
the first Scotchman I chanced to meet in society. There was much 
about him that coincided with my previous conceptions. He had 
the hard features and athletic form said to be peculiar to his 
country, together virith the national intonation and slow pedantic 
mode of expression, arising from a, desire to avoid peculia:rities of 
idiom or dialect. I could also observe the caution and shrewdness 
of his country in many of the observations which he made, and 
the answers which he returned. But I was not prepared for the air 
of easy self-possession and superiority with which he seemed to 

68 ROB ROY. 

predominate over the company into which he was thrown, as it were 
by accident. His dress was as coarse as it could be, being still 
decent ; and, at a time when great expense was lavished upon the 
wardrobe, even of the lowest who pretended to the character of 
gentleman, this indicated mediocrity of circumstances, if not 
poverty. His conversation intimated that he was engaged in the 
cattle trade, no verj dignified professional pursuit. And yet, under 
these disadvantages, he seemed, as a matter of course, to treat the 
rest of the company with the cool and condescending politeness 
which implies a real, or imagined, superiority over those towards 
whom it is used. When he gave his opinion on any point, it was 
with that easy tone of confidence used by those superior to their 
society in rank or information, as if what he said could not be 
doubted, and was not to be questioned. Mine host and his Sun- 
day guests, after an effort or two to support their consequence, by 
noise and bold averment, sunk gradually under the authority of 
Mr. Campbell, who thus fairly possessed himself of the lead in the 
conversation. I was tempted, from curiosity, to dispute the ground 
with him myself, confiding in my knowledge of the world, extended 
as it was by my residence abroad, and in the stores with which a 
tolerable education had possessed my mind. In the latter respect 
he offered no competition, and it was easy to see that his natural 
powers had never been cultivated by education. But I found him 
much better acquainted than I was myself with the present state of 
France, the character of the Duke of Orleans, who had just suc- 
ceeded to the regency of that kingdom, and that of the statesmen 
by whom he was surrounded ; and his shrewd, caustic, and some- 
what satirical remarks, were those of a man, who had been a close 
observer of the affairs of that country. 

On the subject of politics, Campbell observed a silence and 
moderation which might arise from caution. The divisions of Whig 
and Tory then shook England to her very centre, and a powerful 
party, engaged in the Jacobite interest, menaced the dynasty of 
Hanover, which had been just established on the throne. Every 
alehouse resounded with the brawls of contending politicians, and 
as mine host's poUtics were of that liberal description which quar- 
relled with no good customer, his hebdomadal visitants were often 
divided in their opinion as irreconcilably as if he had feasted the 
Common Council. The curate and the apothecary, with a little 
man, who made no boast of his vocation, but who, from the flourish 
and snap of his fingers, I believe to have been the barber, strongly 
espoused the cause of high church and the Stuart line. The 
exciseman, as in duty bound, and the attorney, who looked to some 
petty office under the Crown, together with my fellow-traveller, who 

ROB ROY. 69 

seemed to enter keenly into the contest, stanchly supported the 
cause of King George and the Protestant succession. Dire was the 
screaming — deep the oaths ! Each party appealed to Mr. Campbell, 
anxious, it seemed, to elicit his approbation. 

" You are a Scotchman, sir ; a gentleman of your country must 
stand up for hereditary right," cried one party. 

" You are a Presbyterian," assumed the other class of disputants ; 
" you cannot be a friend to arbitraiy power." 

" Gentlemen," said our Scotch oracle, after having gained, with 
some difficulty, a moment's pause, " I havena much dubitation that 
King George weel deserves the predilection of his friends ; and if 
he can haud the grip he has gotten, why, doubtless, he may make 
the gauger, here, a commissioner of the revenue, and confer on our 
friend, Mr. Quitam, the preferment of solicitor-general ; and he may 
also grant some good deed or reward to this honest gentleman who 
is sitting upon his portmanteau, which he prefers to a chair : And, 
questionless. King James is also a grateful person, and when he gets 
his hand in play, he may, if he be so minded, make this reverend 
gentleman archprelate of Canterbury, and Dr. Mixit, chief physician 
to his household, and commit his royal beard to the care of my 
friend Latherum. But as I doubt mickle whether any of the com- 
peting sovereigns would give Rob Campbell a tass of aquavitse, if 
he lacked it, I give my vote and interest to Jonathan Brown, our 
landlord, to be the King and Prince of Skinkers, conditionally that 
he fetches us another bottle as good as the last." 

This sally was received with general applause, in which the 
landlord cordially joined ; and when he had given orders for fulfil- 
ling the condition on which his preferment was to depend, he failed 
not to acquaint them, " that, for as peaceable a gentleman as Mr. 
Campbell was, he was, moreover, as bold as a lion^-seven highway- 
men had he defeated with his single arm, that beset him as he came 
from Whitson-Tryste." 

" Thou art deceived, friend Jonathan," said Campbell, interrupt- 
ing him ; " they were but barely two, and two cowardly loons as 
man could wish to meet withal." 

" And did you, sir, really," said my fellow-traveller, edging his 
chair (I should have said his portmanteau) nearer to Mr. Camp- 
bell, " really and actually beat two highwaymen yourself alone ? " 

" In troth did I, sir," replied Campbell ; " and I think it nae 
great thing to make a sang about." 

" Upon my word, sir," replied my acquaintance, " I should be 
happy to have the pleasure of your company on my journey — I go 
northward, sir." 

This piece of gratuitous information concerning the route he pro- 

70 ROB ROY. 

posed to himself, the first I had heard my companion bestow upon 
any otie, failed to excite the corresponding confidence of the 

" We can scarce travel together," he replied, dryly. " You, sir, 
doubtless, are weU mounted, and I, for the present, travel on foot, 
or on a Highland shelty, that does not help me much faster 

So saying, he called for a reckoning for the wine,' and throwing 
down the price of the additional bottle which he had himself intro- 
duced, rose as if to take leave of us. My companion made up to 
him, and taking him by the button, drew him aside into one of the 
windows. I could not help overhearing him pressing something — 
I supposed his company upon the journey, which Mr. Campbell 
seemed to decline. 

" I will pay your charges, sir," said the traveller, in a tone, as if 
he thought the argument should bear down all opposition. 

" It is quite impossible," said Campbell, somewhat contemp- 
tuously ; " I have business at Rothbury." 

" But I am in no great hurry ; I can ride out of the way, and 
never miss a day or so for good company." 

" Upon my faith, sir," said Campbell, " I cannot render you the 
service you seem to desiderate. I am," he added, drawing himself 
up haughtily, " travelling on my own private affairs, and if ye will 
act by my advisement, sir, ye will neither unite yourself with an 
absolute stranger on the road, nor communicate your line of jour- 
ney to those who are asking ye no questions about it." He then 
extricated his button, not very ceremoniously, from the hold which 
detained him, and coming up to me as the pompany were dispersing, 
observed, " Your friend, sir, is too communicative, considering the 
nature of his trust." 

" That gentleman," I replied, looking towards the traveller, " is 
no friend of mine, but an acquaintance whom I picked up on the 
road. I know neither his name nor business, and you seem to be 
deeper in his confidence than I am." 

" I only meant," he replied hastily, " that he seems a thought 
rash in conferring the honour of his company on those who desire 
it not." 

" The gentleman," replied I, " knows his own affairs best, and 
I should be sorry to constitute myself a judge of them in any 

Mr. Campbell made no farther observation, but merely wished 
me a good journey, and the party dispersed for the evening. 

Next day I parted company with my timid companion, as I left 
the great northern road to turii more westerly in the direction of 

ROB ROY. 71 

Osbaldistone Manor, my uncle's seat. I cannot tell whether he 
felt relieved or embarrassed by my departure, considering the 
dubious light in which he seemed to regard me. For my own part, 
his tremors ceased to amuse me, and, to say the truth, I was heartily 
triad to get rid of him. 


How melts my beating heart as I behold 
Each lovely nymph, our island's boast and pride. 
Push on the generous steed, that sweeps along 
O'er rough, o'er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill. 
Nor falters in the extended vale below ! 

The Chase. 

I APPROACHED my native north, for such I esteemed it, with 
that enthusiasm which romantic and wild scenery inspires in the 
lovers of nature. No longer interrupted by the babble of my com- 
panion, I could now remark the difference which the country 
exhibited from that through which I had hitherto travelled. The 
streams now more properly deserved the name, for, instead of slum- 
bering stagnant among reeds and willows, they brawled along 
beneath the shade of natural copsewood ; were now hurried down 
declivities, and now purled more' leisurely, but still in active 
motion, through little lonely valleys, which, opening on the road 
from time to time, seemed to invite the traveller to explore their 
recesses. The Cheviots rose before me in frowning majesty ; not, 
indeed, \trith the sublime variety of rock and cliff which character- 
ises mountains of the primary class, but huge, round-headed, and 
clothed witli a dark robe of russet, gaining, by their extent and 
desolate appearance, an influence upon the imagination, as adesert 
district possessing a character of its own. 

The abode of my fathers, which I was now approaching, was 
situated in a glen, or narrow valley, which ran up among those 
hills. Extensive estates, which once belonged to the family of 
Osbaldistone, had been long dissipated by the misfortunes or mis- 
conduct of my ancestors ; but enough was still attached to the old 
mansion, to give my uncle the title of a man of large property. 
This he employed (as I was given to understand by some inquiries 
which I made on the road) in maintaining the prodigal hospitality 
of a northern squire of the period, which he deemed essential to his 
family dignity. 

P'rom the summit of an eminence, I had already had a distant 
view of Osbaldistone-Hall, a large and antiquated edificCj peeping 

72 ROB ROY. 

out from a Druidical grove of huge oaks ; and. I was directing my 
course towards it, as straightly and as speedily as the windings of 
a very indifferent road would permit, when my horse, tired as he 
was, pricked up his ears at the enlivening notes of a pack of hounds 
in full cry, cheered by the occasional bursts of a French-horn, 
which in those days was a constant accompaniment to the chase. 
I made no doubt that the pack was my uncle's, and drew up my 
horse with the purpose of suffering the hunters to pass without 
notice, aware that a hunting-field was not the proper scene to 
introduce myself to a keen sportsman, and determined, when they 
had passed on, to proceed to the mansion-house at my own pace, 
and there to await the return of the proprietor from his sport. I 
paused, therefore, on a rising ground, and, not unmoved by the 
sense of interest which that species of silvan sport is so much cal- 
culated to inspire (although my mind was not at the moment very 
accessible to impressions of this nature), I expected with some 
eagerness the appearance of the huntsmen. 

The fox, hard run, and nearly spent, first pade his appearance 
from the copse which clothed the right-hand side of the valley. 
His drooping brush, his soiled appearance, and jaded trot, pro- 
claimed his fate impending ; and the carrion crow, which hovered 
over him, already considered poor Reynard as soon to be his prey. 
He crossed the stream which divides the little valley, and was 
dragging himself up a ravine on the other side of its wild banks, 
when the headmost hounds, followed by the rest of the pack in full 
cry, burst from the coppice, followed by the huntsman, and three 
or four riders. The dogs pursued the trace of Reynard with un- 
erring instinct ; and the hunters followed with reckless haste, re- 
gardless of the broken and difficult nature of the ground. They 
were tall, stout young men, well mounted, and dressed in green and 
red, the uniform of a sporting association, formed under the auspices 
of old Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone. " My cousins ! " thought I, as 
they swept past me. The next reflection was, what is my reception 
likely to be among these worthy successors of Nimrod? and how 
improbable is it that I, knowing little or nothing of rural sports, 
shall find myself at ease, or happy, in my uncle's family. A vision 
that passed me interrupted these reflections. 

It was a young lady, the loveliness of whose very striking features 
was enhanced by the animation of the chase and the glow of the 
exercise, mounted on a beautiful horse, jet black, unless where he 
was flecked by the spots of the snow-white foam which embossed 
his bridle. She wore, what was then somewhat unusual, a coat 
vest, and hat, resembling those of a man, which fashion has since 
called a riding-habit. The mode had been introduced while I was 

ROB ROY. 73 

in Francs, and was perfectly new to me. Her long black hair 
streamed on the breeze, having in the hurry of the chase escaped 
from the ribbon which bound it. Some very broken ground, through 
which she guided her horse with the most admirable address 
and presence of mind, retarded her course, and brought her closer 
to me than any of the other riders had passed. I had, therefore, 
a full view of her uncommonly fine face and person, to which an 
inexpressible charm was added by the wild gaiety of the scene, and 
the romance of her singular dress and unexpected appearance. As 
she passed me, her horse made, in his impetuosity, an irregular move- 
ment, just while, coming once more upon open ground, she was 
again putting him to his speed. It served as an apology for me to 
ride close up to her, as if to her assistance. There was, however, no 
cause for alarm ; it was not a stumble, nor a false step ; and, if it 
had, the fair Amazon had too much self-possession to have been 
deranged by it. She thanked my good intentions, however, by a 
smile, and I felt encouraged to put my horse to the same pace, 
and to keep in her immediate neighbourhood. The clamour of 
" Whoop ! dead I dead ! " and the corresponding flourish of the 
French horn, soon announced to us that there was no more occasion 
for haste, since the chase was at a close. One of the young men 
whom we had seen approached us, waving the 'brush of the fox in 
triumph, as if to upbraid my fair companion. 

" I see," she replied, — " I see ; but make no noise about it : if 
Phoebe," she said, patting the neck of the beautiful animal on 
which she rode, " had not got among the cliffs, you would have 
had little cause for boasting." 

They met as she spoke, and I observed them both look at me 
and converse a moment in an under tone, the young lady appa- 
rently pressing the sportsman to do something which he declined 
shyly, and with a sort of sheepish suUenness. She instantly turned 
her horse's head towards me, saying, — " Well, well, Thornie, if you 
won't, I must, that's all. — Sii",'' she continued, addressing me, " I 
have been endeavouring to persuade this cultivated young gentle- 
man to make inquiry of you, whether, in the course of your travels 
in these parts, you have heai'd anything of a friend of ours, one 
Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, who has been for some days expected at 

I was too happy to acknowledge myself to be the party inquired 
after, and to express my thanks for the obliging inquiries of the 
young lady. 

" In that case, sir," she rejoined, " as my kinsman's politeness 
seems to be still slumbering, you will permit me (though I suppose 
it is highly improper) to stand mistress of ceremonies, and to pre- 

74 ROB ROY. 

sent to you young Squire ThornclifF Osbaldistone, your cousin, and 
Die Vernon, who has also the honour to be your accomplished 
cousin's poor kinswoman." 

There was a mixture of boldness, satire, and simplicity in the 
manner in which Miss Vernon pronounced these words. My 
knowledge of life was sufficient to enable me to take up a corre- 
sponding tone as I expressed my gratitude to her for her conde- 
scension, and my extreme pleasure at having met with them. To 
say the truth, the compliment was so expressed, that the lady 
might easily appropriate the greater share of it, for Thorncliff 
seemed an arrant country bumpkin, awkward, shy, and somewhat , 
sulky withal. He shook hands with me, however, and then inti- 
mated his intention of leaving me that he might help the huntsman 
and his brothers to couple up the hounds, a purpose which he 
rather communicated by way of information to Miss Vernon than 
as apology to me. 

" There he goes," said the young lady, following him with eyes 
in which disdain was admirably painted — " the prince of grooms 
and cock-fighters, and blackguard horse-coursers. But there is not 
one of them to mend another. — Have you read Markham?" said 
Miss Vernon. 

"Read whom, ma'am? — I do not even remember the author's 

" O lud 1 on what a strand are you wrecked ! " replied the young 
lady. " A poor forlorn and ignorant strangei', unacquainted with 
the very Alcoran of the savage tribe whom you are come to reside 
among — Never to have heard of Markham, the most celebrated 
author on farriery ! then I fear you are equally a stranger to the 
more modern names of Gibson and Banlett ?" 

" I am, indeed, Miss Vernon." 

" And do you not blush to own it ?" said Miss Vernon. " Why, 
we must forswear your alliance. Then, I suppose, you can neither 
give a ball, nor a mash, nor a horn !" 

" I confess I trust all these matters to an ostler, or to my groom." 

" Incredible carelessness ! — And you cannot shoe a horse, or cut 
his mane and tail ; or worm a dog, or crop his ears, or cut his 
dew-claws ; or reclaim a hawk, or give him his casting-stones, or 
direct his diet when he is sealed ; or " 

" To sum up my insignificance in one word," replied I, " I am 
profoundly ignorant in all these rural accomplishments." 

" Then, in the name of Heaven, Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, what 
can you do ?" 

" Very httle to the purpose. Miss Vernon ; something, how- 
ever, I can pretend to — When my groom has dressed my horse, 

ROB ROY. 75 

I can ride him, and when my hawk is in the field, I can 
fly him." 

" Can you do this ?" said the young lady, putting her horse to a 

There was a sort of rude overgrown fence crossed the path before 
us, with a gate, composed of pieces of wood rough from the forest ; 
I was about to move forward to open it, when Miss Vernon cleared 
the obstruction at a flying leap. I was bound, in point of honour, 
to follow, and was in a moment again at her side. 

" There are hopes of you yet," she said. " I was afraid you had 
been a very degenerate Osbaldistone. But what on earth brings 
you to Cub-Castle.' — for so the neighbours have christened this 
hunting-hall of ours. You might have stayed away, I suppose, if 
you would?" 

I felt I was by this time on a very intimate footing with my 
beautiful apparition, and therefore replied, in a confidential under- 
tone — " Indeed, my dear Miss Vernon, I might have considered it 
as a sacrifice to be a temporary resident in Osbaldistone Hall, the 
inmates being such as you describe them; but I am convinced 
there is one exception that will make amends for all deficiencies." 

" O, you mean Rashleigh ?" said Miss Vernon. 

" Indeed I do not ; I was thinking— forgive me — of some person 
much nearer me." 

" I suppose it would be proper not to understand your civility ? 
— But that is not my way — I don't make a curtsey for it, because I 
am sitting on horseback. But, seriously, I deserve your exception, 
for I am the only conversible being about the Hall, except the old 
priest and Rashleigh." 

" And who is Rashleigh, for Heaven's sake ? " 

" Rashleigh is one who would fain have every one like him for 
his own sake. — He is Sir Hildebrand's youngest son — about your 
own age, but not so— not well looking, in short. But nature has 
given him a mouthful of common sense, and the priest has added 
a bushelful of learning — he is what we call a very clever man in 
this country, where clever men are scarce. Bred to the church, 
but in no hurry to take orders." 

" To the Catholic Church? " 

" The Catholic Church ! what Church else ? " said the young 
lady. " But I forgot, they told me you are a heretic. Is that true, 
Mr. Osbaldistone ? " 

" I must not deny the charge." 

" And yet you have been abroad, and in Catholic countries ? " 

" For nearly four years." 

" You have seen convents ? " 


" Often ; but I have not seen much in thepi which recommended 
the Catholic religion." 

" Are not the inhabitants happy ? " 

" Some are unquestionably so, whom either a profound sense of 
dfevotion, or an experience of the persecutions and misfortunes of 
the world, or a natural apathy of temper, has led into retirement. 
Those who have adopted a life of seclusion from sudden and over- 
strained enthusiasm, or in hasty resentment of some disappoint- 
ment or mortification, are very miserable. The quickness of 
sensation soon returns, and, like the wilder animals in a menagerie, 
they are restless under confinement, while others muse or fatten in 
cells of no larger dimensions than theirs." 

"And what," continued Miss Vernon, "becomes of those 
victims who are condemned to a convent by the will of others ? 
what do they resemble ? especially, what do they resemble, if they 
are born to enjoy life, and feel its blessings ? " 

" They are like imprisoned singing-birds," replied I, " con- 
demned to wear out their lives in confinement, which they try to 
beguile by the exercise of accomplishments, which would have 
adorned society, had they been left at large." 

" I shall be," returned Miss Vernon—" that is," said she, cor- 
recting herself—" I should be rather like the wild hawk, who, 
barred the free exercise of his soar through heaven, will dash him- 
self to pieces against the bars of his cage. But to return to Rash- 
leigh, " said she, in a more lively tone, " you will think him the 
pleasantest man yqu ever saw in your life, Mr. Osbaldistone, that 
is, for a week at least. If he could find out a blind mistress, never 
man would be so secure of conquest ; but the eye breaks the spell 
that enchants the ear. But here we are in the court of the old hall, 
which looks as wild and old-fashioned as any of its inmates. There 
is no great toilette kept at Osbaldistons-Hall, you must know ; but 
I must take off these things, they are so unpleasantly warm, and 
the hat hurts my forehead, too," continued the lively girl, taking it 
off, and shaking down a profusion of sable ringlets, which, half 
laughing, half blushing, she separated with her white slender 
fingers, in order to' clear them away from her beautiful face and 
piercing hazel eyes. If there was any coquetrj' in the action, it 
was well disguised by the careless indifference of her manner. I 
could not help saying, " that, judging of the family from what I 
saw, I should suppose the toilette a very unnecessary care." 

" That" s very politely said ; though, perhaps, I ought not to 
understand in what sense it was meant," replied Miss Vernon ; 
" but you will see a better apology for a little negligence, when you 
meet the Orsons you are to live amongst, whose forms no toilette 

ROB ROY. 77 

could improve. But, as I said before, the old dinner-bell will 
clang, or rather clank, in a few minutes — it cracked of its own accord 
on the day of the landing of King Willie, and my uncle, respecting 
its prophetic talent, would never permit it to be mended. So do 
you hold my palfrey, like a duteous knight, until I send some more 
humble squire to relieve you of the charge." 

She threw me the rein as if we had been acquainted from our 
childhood, jumped from her saddle, tripped across the court-yard, 
and entered at a side-door, leaving me in admiration of her beauty, 
and astonished with the overfrankness of her manners, which 
seemed the more extraordinary at a time when the dictates of 
politeness, flowing from the court of the Grand Monarque Louis 
XIV., prescribed to the fair sex an unusual severity of decorum. I 
was left awkwardly enough stationed in the centre of the court of 
the old hall, mounted on one horse, and holding another in my hand. 

The building afforded little to interest a stranger, had I been 
disposed to consider it attentively ; the sides of the quadrangle 
were of various architecture, and with their stone-shafted latticed 
windows, projecting turrets, and massive architraves, resembled 
the inside of a convent, or of one of the older and less splendid 
colleges of Oxford. I called for a domestic, but was for some time 
totally unattended to ; which was the more provoking, as I could 
perceive I was the object of curiosity to several servants, both male 
and female, from different parts of the building, who popped out 
their heads and withdrew them, like rabbits in a warren, before I 
could make a direct appeal to the attention of any individual. The 
return of the huntsmen and hounds relieved me from my embarrass- 
ment, and with some difficulty I got one clown to relieve me of the 
charge of the horses, and another stupid boor to guide me to the 
presence of Sir Hildebrand. This service he performed with much 
such grace and good-will, as a peasant who is compelled to act as 
guide to a hostile patrol ; and in the same manner I was obliged 
to guard against his deserting me in the labyrinth of low vaulted 
passages which conducted to " Stun Hall," as he called it, where I 
was to be introduced to the gracious presence of my uncle. 

We did, however, at length reach a long vaulted room, floored 
with stone, where a range of oaken tables, of a weight and size too 
massive ever to be moved aside, were already covered for dinner. 
This venerable apartment, which had witnessed the feasts of several 
generations of the Osbaldistone family, bore also evidence of their 
success in field-sports. Huge antlers of deer, which might have 
been trophies of the hunting of Chevy Chace, were ranged around 
the walls, interspersed with the stuffed skins of badgers, otters, 
martins, and other animals of the chase. Amidst some remnants 

78 ROB ROY. 

of old armour, which had, perhaps, served against the Scotch, hung 
the more valued weapons of sylvan war, cross-bows, guns of various 
device and construction, nets, fishing-rods, otter-spears, hunting- 
poles, with many other singular devices and engines for taking or 
killing game. A few old pictures, dimmed with smoke, and stained 
with March beer, hung on the walls, representing knights and 
ladies, honoured doubtless, and renowned in their day ; those 
frowning fearfully from huge bushes of wig and of beard ; and these 
looking delightfully with all their might at the roses which they 
brandished in their hands. 

I had just time to give a glance at these matters, when about 
twelve blue-coated servants burst into the hall with much tumult 
and talk, each rather employed in directing his comrades than in 
discharging his own duty. Some brought blocks and billets to the 
fire, which roared, blazed, and ascended, half in smoke, half in 
flame, up a huge tunnel, with an opening wide enough to accommo- 
date a stone-seat within its ample vault, and which was fronted, by 
way of chimney-piece, with a huge piece of heavy architecture, 
where the monsters of herg-ldry^ embodied by the art of some 
Northumbrian chisel, grinned and ramped in red free-stone, now 
japanned by the smoke of centuries. Others of these old-fashioned 
serving-men bore huge smoking dishes, loaded with substantial 
fare ; others brought in cups, flagons, bottles, yea barrels of 
liquor. All tramped, kicked, plunged, shouldered, and jostled, 
doing as little service with as much tumult as could well be 
imagined. At length, while the dinner was, after various efforts, in 
the act of being arranged upon the board, " the clamour much of 
men and dogs," the cracking of whips, calculated for the intimida- 
tion of the latter, voices loud and high, steps which, impressed by 
the heavy-heeled boots of the period, clattered like those in tlie 
statue of the Festin de pierre* announced the arrival of those for 
whose benefit the preparations were made. The hubbub among 
the servants rather increased than diminished as this crisis ap- 
proached — some called to make haste— others to take time, — some 
exhorted to stand cat of the way, and make room for Sir Hildebrand 
and the young squiies, — some to close round the table, and be in 
the way, — some bawled to open, some to shut, a pair of folding- 
doors which divided the hall from a sort of gallery, as I afterwards 
learned, or withdi-awing-room, fitted up with black wainscot. 
Opened the doors were at length, and in rushed curs and men, — 
eight dogs, the domestic chaplain, the village doctor, my six cousins, 
and my uncle. 

ROB ROY. 79 


The rude hall rocks — they come, they come, — 
The din of voices shakes the dome ; — 
In stalk the various forms, and, drest 
In varying morion, varying vest. 

All march with haughty step— all proudly shake the crest. 


If Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone was in no hurry to greet his 
nephew, of whose arrival he must have been informed for some 
time, he had important avocations to allege in excuse. " Had seen 
thee sooner, lad," he exclaimed, after a rough shake of the hand, 
and a hearty welcome to Osbaldistone Hall, " but had to see the 
hounds kennelled first. Thou art welcome to the Hall, lad— here 
is thy cousin Percie, thy cousin Thornie, and thy cousin John — 
your cousin Dick, your cousin Wilfred, and— stay, where's Rash- 
leigh— ay, here-'s Rashleigh — tdke thy long body aside, Thornie, 
and let's see thy brother a bit — Your cousin Rashleigh. — So, thy 
father has thought on the old Hall, and old Sir Hildebrand at last 
—better late than never — Thou art welcome, lad, and there's enough. 
Where's my little Die ? — ay, here she comes— this is my niece Die, 
my wife's brother's daughter — the prettiest girl in our dales, be the 
other who she may — and so now let's to the sirloin." — 

To gain some idea of the person who held this language, you 
must suppose, my dear Tresham, a man aged about sixty, in a 
hunting suit which had once been richly laced, but whose splendour 
had been tarnished by many a November and December storm. 
Sir Hildebrand, notwithstanding the abruptness of his present 
manner, had, at one period of his life, known courts and camps ; 
had held a commission in the army which encamped on Hounslow 
Heath previous to the Revolution, and, recommended perhaps by 
his religion, had been knighted about the same period by the un- 
fortunate and ill-advised James II. But the Knight's dreams of 
further preferment, if he ever entertained any, had died away at the 
crisis which drove his patron from the throne, and since that period 
he had spent a sequestered life upon his native domains. Not- 
withstanding his rusticity, however. Sir Hildebrand retained much 
of the exterior of a gentleman, and appeared among his sons as the 
remains of a Corinthian pillar, defaced and overgrown with moss 
and lichen, might have looked, if contrasted with the rough unhewn 
masses of upright stones in Stonehenge, or any other druidical 
temple. The sons were, indeed, heavy unadorned blocks as the 
eye would desire to look upon. Tall, stout, and comely,' all and 


each of the five eldest seemed to, want alike the Promethean fire of 
intellect, and the exterior grace and manner, which, in the polished 
world, sometimes supply mental deficiency. Their most valuable 
moral quality seemed to be the good-humour and content which 
was expressed in their heavy features, and their only pretence to. 
accomplishment was their dexterity in field sports, for which alone 
they lived. The strong Gyas, and the strong Cloanthus, are not 
less distinguished by the poet;, than the strong Percival, the strong 
Thorncliff, the strong John, Richard, and Wilfred Osbaldistones, 
were by outward appearance. 

But, as if to indemnify herself for a uniformity so uncommon in 
her productions. Dame Nature had rendered Rashleigh Osbaldistone 
a striking contrast in person and manner, and, as I afterwards 
learned, in temper and talents, not only to his brothers, but to most 
men whom I had hitherto met with. When Percy, Thornie, and 
Co. had respectively nodded, grinned, and presented their shoulder, 
rather than their hand, as their father named them to their new 
kinsman, Rashleigh stepped forward, and welcomed me to Osbal- 
distone Hall, with the air and manner of a man of the world. His 
appearance was not in itself prepossessing. He was of low stature, 
whereas all his brethren seemed to be descendants of Anak ; and, 
while they were handsomely formed, Rashleigh, though strong in 
person, was bull-necked and cross-made, and from some early 
injury in his youth, had an imperfection in his gait, so much re- 
sembling an absolute halt, that many alleged that it formed the 
obstacle to his taking orders ; the church of Rome, as is well 
known, admitting none to the clerical profession who labours under 
any personal deformity. Others, however, ascribed this unsightly 
defect to a mere awkward habit, and contended that it did not 
amount to a personal disqualification from holy orders. 

The features of Rashleigh were such, as, having looked upon, we 
in vain wish to banish from our memory, to which they recur as 
objects of painful curiosity, although we dwell upon them with a 
feeling of dislike, and even of disgust. It was not the actual plain- 
ness of his face, taken separately from the meaning, which made 
this strong impression. His features were, indeed, irregular, but 
they were by no means vulgar ; and his keen dark eyes, and shaggy 
eyebrows, redeemed his face' from the charge of commonplace 
ugliness. But there was in these eyes an expression of art and 
design, and, on provocation, a ferocity tempered by caution, which 
nature had made obvious to the most ordinary physiognomist, per- 
haps with the same intention that she has given the rattle to the 
poisonous snake. As if to compensate him for these disadvantages 
of exterior, Rashleigh Osbaldistone was possessed of a voice the 

ROB ROY. 8l 

most soft, mellow, and rich in its tones that I ever heard, and was 
at no loss for language of every sort suited to so fine an organ. 
His first sentence of welcome was hardly ended, ere I internally 
agreed with Miss Vernon, that my new kinsman would make an 
instant conquest of a mistress whose ears alone were to judge his 
cause. He was about to place himself beside me at dinner, but 
Miss Vernon, who, as the only female in the family, arranged all 
such matters according to her own pleasure, contrived that I should 
sit betwixt Thorncliff and herself ; and it can scarce be doubted 
that I favoured this more advantageous arrangement. 

" I want to speak with you," she said, " and I have placed honest 
Thornie betwixt Rashleigh and you on purpose. He will be like — 

Feather-bed 'twixt castle wall 
And heavy brunt of cannon ball ; 

while I, your earliest acquaintance in this intellectual family, ask of 
you how you like us all .■' " 

" A very comprehensive question, Miss Vernon, considering how 
short while I have been at Osbaldistone-Hall." 

" 0, the philosophy of our family lies on the surface — there are 
minute shades distinguishing the individuals, which require the eye 
of an intelligent observer ; but the species, as naturalists I beUeve 
call it, may be distinguished and characterised at once." 

" My five elder cousins, then, are, I presume, of pretty nearly the 
same character." 

" Yes, they form a happy compound of sot, game-keeper, bully, 
horse-jockey, and fool ; but as they say there cannot be found two 
leaves on the same tree exactly ahke, so these happy ingredients, 
being mingled in somewhat various proportions in each individual, 
make an agreeable variety for those who like to study character." 

" Give me a sketch, if you please. Miss Vernon." 

" You shall have them all in a family-piece, at full length — the 
favour is too easily granted to be refused. Percie, the son and 
heir, has more of the sot than the gamekeeper, bully, horse-jockey, 
or fool— My precious Thornie is niore of the bully than the sot, 
gamekeeper, jockey, or fool— John, who sleeps whole weeks amongst 
the hills, has most of the gamekeeper — The jockey is powerful with 
Dickon, who rides two hundred miles by day and night to be bought 
and sold at a horse-race — And the fool predominates so much over 
Wilfred's other quaUties, that he may be termed a fool positive." 

" A goodly collection, Miss Vernon, and the individual varieties 
belong to a most interesting species. But is there no room on the 
canvas for Sir Hildebrand ? " 

" I love my uncle," was her reply : " I owe him some kindness 

82 ROB ROY. 

(such it was meant for at leagt), and I will leave you to draw his 
picture yourself, when you know him better." 

" Come," thought I to myself, " I am glad there is some forbear- 
ance. After all, who would have looked for such bitter satire from 
a creature so young and so exquisitely beautiful ?" 

"You are thinking of me," she said, bending her dark eyes on 
me, as if she meant to pierce through my very soul. 

" I certainly was," I rephed, with some embarrassment at the 
determined suddenness of the question, and then, endeavouring 
to give a comphmentary turn to my frank avowal, "How is it 
possible I should think of anything else, seated as I have the 
happiness to be ? " 

She smiled with such an expression of concentrated haughtiness 
as she alone could have thrown into her countenance. " I must 
inform you at once, Mr. Osbaldistone, that compliments are entirely 
lost upon me ; do not, therefore, throw away your pretty sayings — 
they serve fine gentlemen who travel in the country, instead of the 
toys, beads, and bracelets which navigators carry to propitiate the 
savage inhabitants of newly discovered lands. Do not exhaust 
your stock in trade ; — you will find natives in Northumberland to 
whom your fine things will recommend you — on me they would be 
utterly thrown away, for I happen to know their real value." 

I was silenced and confounded. 

" You remind me at this moment," said the young lady, resuming 
her lively and indifferent manner, " of the fairy tale, where the man 
finds all the money which he had carried to market suddenly 
changed into pieces of slate. I have cried down and ruined your 
whole stock of complimentary discourse by one unlucky observa- 
tion. But come, never mind it — You are belied, Mr. Osbaldistone, 
unless you have much better conversation than th&%tfadeurs, which 
every gentleman with a toupet thinks himself obliged to recite to 
an unfortunate girl, merely because she is dressed in silk and gauze, 
while he wears superfine cloth with embroidery. Your natural 
paces, as any of my five cousins might say, are far preferable to 
your complimentary amble. Endeavour to forget my unlucky sex ; 
call me Tom Vernon, if you have a mind, but speak to me as you 
would to a friend and companion ; you have no idea how much I 
shall like you." 

" That would be a bribe indeed," returned I. 

" Again ! " rephed Miss Vernon, holding up her finger ; " I told 
you I would not bear the shadow of a compliment. And now, 
when you have pledged my uncle, who threatens you with what he 
calls a brimmer, I will tell you what you think of me." 

The bumper being pledged by me, as a dutiful nephew, and some 

ROB ROY. 83 

other general intercourse of the table having taken place, the con- 
tinued and business-like clang of knives and forks, and the devo- 
tion of cousin Thorncliff on my right hand, and cousin Dickon, who 
sate on Miss Vernon's left, to the huge quantities of meat with 
which they heaped their plates, made them serve as two occasional 
partitions, separating us from the rest of the company, and leaving 
us to our tUe-h-Ute. " And now," said I, " give me leave to ask you 
frankly. Miss Vernon, what you suppose I am thinking of you ? — I 
could tell you what I really do think, but you have interdicted praise." 

" I do not want your assistance. I am conjuror enough to tell 
your thoughts without it. You need not open the casement of your 
bosom ; I see through it. You think me a strange bold girl, half 
coquette, half romp ; desirous of attracting attention by the freedom 
of her manners and loudness of her conversation, because she is 
ignorant of what the Spectator calls the softer graces of the sex ; 
and perhaps you think I have some particular plan of storming you 
into, admiration. I should be sorry to shock your self-opinion, but 
you were never more mistaken. All the confidence I have reposed 
in you, I would have given as readily to your father, if I thought 
he could have understood me. I am in this happy family as much 
secluded from intelligent hsteners as Sancho in the Sierra Morena, 
and when opportunity offers, I must speak or die. I assure you I 
would not have told you a word of all this curious intelligence, had 
I cared a pin who knew it or knew it not." 

" It is very cruel in yon. Miss Vernon, to take away all particular 
marks of favour from your communications, but I must receive 
them on your own terms. — You have not included Mr. Rashleigh 
Osbal'distone in your domestic sketches." 

She shrunk, I thought, at this remark, and hastily answered, in a 
much lower tone, " Not a word of Rashleigh ! His ears are so 
acute when his selfishness is interested, that the sounds would 
reach him even through the mass of Thorncliff' s person, stuffed as 
it is with beef, venison-pasty, and pudding." 

" Yes," I rephed ; " but peeping past the living screen which ' 
divides us, before I put the question, I perceived that Mr. Rash- 
leigh's chair was empty — he has left the table." 

" I would not have you be too sure of that," Miss Vernon replied. 
" Take my advice, and when you speak of Rashleigh, get up to the 
top of Otterscope-hill, where you can see for twenty miles round 
you in every direction— stand on the very peak, and speak in 
whispers ; and, after all, don't be too sure that the bird of the air 
will not carry the matter. Rashleigh has been my tutor for four 
years ; we are mutually tired of each other, and we shall heartily 
rejoice at our approaching separation." 

s 'z 

84 ROB ROY. 

" Mr. Rashleigh leaves Osbaldistone-Hall, then ? " 

" Yes, in a few days ; — did you not know that ? — Your father must 
keep his resolutions much more secret than Sir Hildebrand. Why, 
when my uncle was informed that you were to be his guest for some 
time, and that your father desired to have one of his hopeful sons to 
fill up the lucrative situation in his counting-house which was 
vacant by your obstinacy, Mr. Francis, the good knight held a cour 
pUniire of all his family, including the butler, housekeeper, and 
gamekeeper. This reverend assembly of the peers and household 
officers of Osbaldistone-Hall was not convoked, as you may sup- 
pose, to elect your substitute, because, as Rashleigh alone possessed 
more arithmetic than was necessary to calculate the odds on a 
fighting-cock, none but he could be supposed qualified for the 
situation. But some solemn sanction was necessary for transform- 
ing Rashleigh's destination from starving as a Catholic priest, to 
thriving as a wealthy banker ; and it was not without some re- 
luctance that the acquiescence of the assembly was obtained to 
such an act of degradation." 

" I can conceive the scruples — but how were they got over .' " 

" By the general wish, I believe, to get Rashleigh out of the 
house," replied Miss Vernon. " Although youngest of the family, 
he has somehow or other got the entire management of all the 
others ; and every one is sensible of the subjection, though they 
cannot shake it off. If any one oppose him, he is sure to rue having 
done so before the year goes about ; and if you do him a very 
important service, you may rue it still more." 

" At that rate," answered I, smiling, " I should look about me ; 
for I have been the cause, however unintentionally, of his change of 

" Yes ; and whether he regards it as an advantage or disad- 
vantage, he will owe you a grudge for it— But here comes cheese, 
radishes, and a bumper to church and king, the hint for chaplains 
and ladies to disappear ; and I, the sole representative of woman- 
hood at Osbaldistone-Hall, retreat, as in duty bound." 

She vanished as she spoke, leaving me in astonishment at the 
mingled character of shrewdness, audacity, and frankness, which 
her conversation displayed. I despair of conveying to you the 
least idea of her manner, although I have, as nearly as I can re- 
member, imitated her language. In fact, there was a mixture of 
untaught simplicity, as well as native shrewdness and haughty 
boldness in her manner, and all were modified and recommended 
by the play of the most beautiful features I had ever beheld. It is 
not to be thought that however strange and uncommon 1 might 
think her liberal and unreserved communications, a young man of 

ROB ROY. 83 

two-and-twenty was likely to be severely critical on a beautiful girl 
of eighteen for not observing a proper distance towards him. On 
the contrary, I was equally diverted and flattered by Miss Vernon's 
confidence, and that notwithstanding her declaration of its being 
conferred on me solely because I was the first auditor who occurred, 
of intelligence enough to comprehend it. With the presumption of 
my age, certainly not diminished by my residence in France, I 
imagined that well-formed features, and a handsoma person, both 
which I conceived myself to possess, were not unsuitable qualifica- 
tions for the confidant of a young beauty. My vanity thus enlisted 
in Miss Vernon's behalf, I was far from judging her with severity 
merely for a frankness which I supposed was in some degree justi- 
fied by my own personal merit ; and the feelings of partiality, which 
her beauty, and the singularity of her situation, were of themselves 
calculated to excite, were enhanced by my opinion of her penetra- 
tion and judgment in her choice of a friend. 

After Miss Vernon quitted the apartment, the bottle circulated, 
or rather flew, around the table in unceasing revolution. My foreign 
education had given me a distaste to intemperance, then and yet 
too common a vice among my countrymen. The conversation 
which seasoned such orgies was as little to my taste, and if any- 
thing could render it more disgusting, it was the relationship of the 
company. • I therefore seized a lucky opportunity, and made my 
escape through a side-door, leading I knew not whither, rather than 
endure any longer the sight of father and sons practising the same 
degrading intemperance, and holding the same coarse and disgust- 
ing conversation. I was pursued, of course, as I had expected, to 
be reclaimed by force, as a deserter from the shrine of Bacchus. 
When I heard the whoop and hollo, and the tramp of the heavy 
boots of my pursuers on the winding stair which I was descending, 
I plainly foresaw I should be overtaken unless I could get into the 
open air. I therefore threw open a casement in the staircase, which 
looked into an old-fashioned garden, and as the height did not 
exceed six feet, I jumped out without hesitation, and soon heard, 
far behind, the " hey whoop ! stole away ! stole away ! " of my 
baffled pursuers. I ran down one alley, walked fast up another ; 
and then, conceiving myself out of all danger of pursuit, I slackened 
my pace into a quiet stroll, enjoying the cool air which the heat of 
the wine I had been obliged to swallow, as well as that of my rapid 
retreat, rendered doubly grateful. 

As I sauntered on, I found the gardener hard at his evening 
employment, and saluted him, as I paused to look at his work. 
" Good even, my friend." 

" Gude e'en — gude e'en t'ye," answered the man, without looking 

86 ROB ROY. 

up, and in a tone which at once indicated his northern extrac- 

" Fine weather for your work, my friend." 

" It's no that muckle to be compleened o'," answered the man, 
with that limited degree of praise which gardeners and farmers 
usually bestow on the very best weather. Then, raising his head, 
as if to see who spoke to him, he touched his Scotch bonnet with 
an air of respect, as he observed, " Eh, gude save us ! — it's a sight 
for sair een, to see a gold-laced jeistiecor in the Ha' garden sae 
late at e'en." 

" A gold-laced what, my good friend ? " 

" Ou, a jeistiecor* — that's a jacket like your ain, there. They hae 
other things to do wi' them up yonder— unbuttoning them to make 
room for the beef and the bag-puddings, and the claret-wine, nae 
doubt— tha!t's the ordinary for evening lecture on this side the 

" There's no such plenty of good cheer in your country, my good 
friend," I replied, " as to teinpt you to sit so late at it." 

" Hout, sir, ye ken little about Scotland ; it's no for want ot gude 
vivers — the best of fish, flesh, and fowl hae we, by sybos, ingans, 
turneeps, and other garden fruit. But we hae mense and discretion, 
and are modera:te of our mouths ; but here, frae the kitchen to the 
ha', it's fill and fetch mair, frae the tae end of the four-and-twenty 
till the tother. Even their fast days — they ca' it fasting when they 
hae the best o' sea-fish frae Hartlepool and Sunderland by land 
carriage, forbye trouts, grilses, salmon, and a' the lave o't, and so 
they make their very fasting a kind of luxury and abomination ; and 
then the awfu' masses and matins of the puir deceived souls — but I 
shouldna speak about them, for your honour will be a Roman, I'se 
warrant, like the lave." 

" Not I, my friend ; I was bred an English presbyterian, or 

" The right hand of fellowship to your honour, then," quoth the 
gardener, with as much alacrity as his hard features were capable of 
expressing, and, as if to show that his good-will did not rest on 
words, he plucked forth a huge horn snuff-box, or mull, as he called 
it, and proffered me a pinch with a most fraternal grin. 

Having accepted his courtesy, I asked him if he had been long 
a domestic at Osbaldistone-Hall ? 

" I have been fighting with wild beasts at Ephesus," said he, 
looking towards the building, " for the best part of these four-and- 
twenty years, as sure as my name's Andrew Fairservice." 

" But, my excellent friend, Andrew Fairservice, if your religion 
and your temperance are so much offended by Roman rituals and 

ROB ROY. 87 

southern hospitality, it seems to me that you must have been 
putting yourself to an unnecessary penance all this while, and that 
you might have found a service where they eat less, and are more 
orthodox in their worship. I daresay it cannot be want of skill 
which prevented your being placed more to your satisfaction." 

" It disna become me to speak to the point of my qualifications," 
said Andrew, looking round him with great complacency ; " but nae 
doubt I should understand my trade of horticulture, seeing I was 
bred in the parish of Dreepdaily, where they raise lang-kale under 
glass, and force the early nettles for their spring kale. — And, to 
speak truth, I hae been flitting every term these four-and-twenty 
years ; but when the time comes, there's aye something to saw that 
I would like to see sawn, — or something to maw that I would like 
to see mawn, — or something to ripe that I would like to see ripen, 
— and sae I e'en daiker on wi' the family frae year's end to year's 
end. And I wad say for certain, that I am gaun to quit at 
Cannlemas, only I was just as positive on it twenty years syne, 
and I find mysell still turning up the mouls here, for a' that. For- 
bye that, to tell your honour the even-down truth, there's nae better 
place ever offered to Andrew. But if your honour wad wush me 
to ony place where I wad hear pure doctrine, and hae a free cow's 
grass, and a cot, and a yard, and mair than ten punds of annual 
fee, and where there's nae leddy about the town to count the apples, 
I'se hold mysell muckle indebted t' ye." 

" Bravo, Andrew ! I perceive you'll lose no preferment for want 
of asking patronage." 

" I canna see what for I should," rephed Andrew ; " it's no a. 
generation to wait till ane's worth's discovered, I trow." 

" But you are no friend, I observe, to the ladies." 

" Na, by my troth, I keep up the first gardener's quarrel to them.. 
They're fasheous bargains — aye crying for apricocks, pears, plums, 
and apples, summer and winter, without distinction o' seasons ; but 
we hae nae slices o' the spare rib here, be praised for't ! except auld 
Martha, and she's weel eneugh pleased wi' the freedom o' the 
berry-bushes to her sister's weans, when they come to drink tea in 
a holiday in the housekeeper's room, and wi' a wheen codlings now 
and then for her ain private supper." 

" You forget your young mistress." 

" What mistress do I forget ? — whae's that ? " 

" Your young mistress, Miss Vernon." 

" What ! the lassie Vernon ? — she's nae mistress o' mine, man. 
I wish she was her ain mistress ; and I wish she mayna be some 
other body's mistress or it's lang — She's a wild slip that." 

"Indeed!" said I, more interested than I cared to own to 

88 ROB ROY. 

myself, or to show to the fellow—" why, Andrew, you know all the 
secrets of this family." 

"If I ken them, I can keep them," said Andrew; "tbcy winna 
work in my wame like barm in a barrel, I'se warrant ye. Miss Die 
is — but it's neither beef nor brose o' mine." 

And he began to dig with a great semblance of assiduity. 

"What is Miss Vernon, Andrew? I am a friend of the family, 
and should like to know." 

" Other than a gude ane, I'm fearing," said Andrew, closing one 
eye hard, and shaking his head with a grave and mysterious look— 
" something glee'd — your honour understands me ? " 

" I cannot say I do," said I, " Andrew ; but I should like to hear 
you explain yourself;" and therewithal I slipped a crown-piece 
into Andrew's horn-hard hand. The touch of the silver made'him 
grin a ghastly smile, as he nodded slowly, and thrust it into his 
breeches' pocket ; and then, like a man who well understood that 
there was value to be returned, stood up, and rested his arms on 
his spade, with his features composed into the most important 
gravity as for some serious communication. 

" Ye maun ken, then, young gentleman, since it imports you to 
know, that Miss Vernon is " 

Here breaking off, he sucked in both his cheeks, till his lantern 
jaws and long chin assumed the appearance of a pair of nut- 
crackers ; winked hard once more, frowned, shook his head, and 
seemed to think his physiognomy had completed the information 
which his tongue had not fully told. 

" Good God ! " said I, " so young, so beautiful, so early lost ! " 

" Troth, ye may say sae — she's in a manner lost, body and saul ; 
forby being a Papist, I'se uphaud her for" — and his northern 
caution prevailed, and he was again silent. 

"For what, sir?" said I, sternly. "I insist on knowing the 
plain meaning of all this." 

" Ou, just for the bitterest Jacobite in the haill shire." 

" Pshaw ! a Jacobite ?— is that all ? " 

Andrew looked at me with some astonishment, at hearing his in- 
formation treated so lightly ; and then muttering, " Aweel, it's the 
warst thing I ken aboot the lassie, howsoe'er," he resumed his 
spade, like the King of the Vandals in Marmontel's late novel. 



Bardolph. The Sheriff, with a monstrous watch, is at the door. 

Henry IV., First Part. 

I FOUND out with some difficulty the apartment which was 
destined for my accommodation ; and, having secured myself the 
necessary good-will and attention from my uncle's domestics, by 
using the means they were most capable of comprehending, I 
secluded myself there for the remainder of the evening, con- 
jecturing, from the fair way in which I had left my new relatives, 
as well as from the distant noise which continued to echo from the 
stone-hall (as their banqueting-room was called), that they were not 
likely to be fitting company for a sober man. 

" What could my father mean by sending me to be an inmate in 
this strange family ? " was my first and most natural reflection. 
My uncle, it was plain, received me as one who was to make some 
stay with him, and his rude hospitality rendered him as indifferent 
as King Hal to the number of those who fed at his cost. But it 
was plain my presence or absence would be of as little importance 
in his eyes as that of one of his blue-coated serving-men. My 
cousins were mere cubs, in whose company I might, if I liked it, 
unlearn whatever decent manners, or elegant accomplishments, I 
had acquired, but where I could attain no information beyond 
what regarded worming dogs, rowelling horses, and following 
foxes. I could only imagine one reason, which was probably the 
true one. My father considered the life which was led at Osbal- 
distone-Hall as the natural and inevitable pursuits of all country 
gentlemen,/ and he was desirous, by giving me an opportunity of 
seeing that with which he knew I should be disgusted, to reconcile 
me, if possible, to take an active share in his own business. In 
the meantime, he would take Rashleigh Osbaldistone into the 
counting-house. But he had an hundred modes of providing for 
him, and that advantageously, whenever he choose to get rid of 
him. So that, although I did feel a certain qualm of conscience 
at having been the means of introducing Rashleigh, being such 
as he Was described by Miss Vernon, into my father's business 
— perhaps into his confidence — I subdued it by the reflection that 
my father was complete master of his own affairs^a man not to be 
imposed upon, or influenced by any one, and that all I knew to the 
young gentleman's prejudice was through the medium of a singular 
and giddy girl, whose communications were made with an in- 
judicious frankness, which might warrant me in supposing her con- 

go ROB ROY. 

elusions had been hastily or inaccurately formed. Then my mind 
naturally turned to Miss Vernon herself; her extreme beauty; her 
very peculiar situation, relying solely upon her reflections, and her 
own spirit, for guidance and protection ; and her whole character 
offering that variety and spirit which piques our curiosity, and 
engages our attention in spite of ourselves. I had sense enough to 
consider the neighbourhood of this singular young lady, and the 
chance of our being thrown into very close and frequent inter- 
course, as adding to the dangers, while it relieved the dulness, of 
Osbaldistone-Hall ; but I could not, with the fullest exertion of my 
prudence, prevail upon myself to regret excessively this new and 
particular hazard to which I was to be exposed. This scruple 
I also settled as young men settle most difficulties of the kind — I 
would be very cautious, always on my guard, consider Miss Vernon 
rather as a companion than an intimate ; and all would do well 
enough. With these reflections I fell asleep. Miss Vernon, of 
course, forming the last subject of my contemplation. 

Whether I dreamed of her or not, I cannot satisfy you, for I was 
tired, and slept soundly. But she was the first person I thought of 
in the morning, when waked at dawn by the cheerful notes of the 
hunting-horn. To start up, and direct my horse to be saddled, was 
my first movement ; and in a few minutes I was in the court-yard, 
where men, dogs, and horses, were in full preparation. My uncle, 
who, perhaps, was not entitled to expect a very alert sportsman in 
his nephew, bred as he had been in foreign parts, seemed rather 
surprised to see me, and I thought his morning salutation wanted 
something of the hearty and hospitabl& tone which distinguished 
his first welcome. " Art there, lad ? — ay, youth's aye rathe — but 
look to thysell — mind the old song, lad — 

' He that gallops his horse on Blackstone edge. 
May chance to catch a fall.' " 

I believe there are few young men, and those very sturdy 
moralists, who would not rather be taxed with some moral 
peccadillo than with want of knowledge in horsemanship. As I 
was by no means deficient either in skill or courage, I resented my 
uncle's insinuation accordingly, and assured him he would find me 
up with the hounds. 

" I doubtna, lad," was his reply ; " thou'rt a rank rider, I'se 
warrant thee — but take heed. Thy father sent thee here to 
me to be bitted, and I doubt I must ride thee on the curb, or 
we'll hae some one to ride thee on the halter, 1 if takena the 
better heed." 

As this speech was totally unintelligible to me ; as, besides, it 

ROB ROY. 91 

did not seem to be delivered for my use, or benefit, but was spoken 
as it were aside, and as if expressing aloud something which was 
passing through the mind of my much-honoured uncle, I con- 
cluded it must either refer to my desertion of the bottle on the 
preceding evening, or that my uncle's morning hours being a little 
discomposed by the revels of the night before, his temper had 
suffered in proportion. I only made the passing reflection, that if 
he played the ungracious landlord, I would remain the shorter 
while his guest, and then hastened to salute Miss Vernon, who 
advanced cordially to meet me. Some show of greeting also 
passed between my cousins and me ; but as I saw them maliciously 
bent upon criticising my dress and accoutrements, from the cap to 
the stirrup-irons, and sneering at whatever had a new or foreign 
appearance, I exempted myself from the task of paying them much 
attention ; and assuming, in requital of their grins and whispers, 
an air of the utmost indifference and contempt, I attached myself 
to Miss Vernon as the only person in the party whom I could 
regard as a suitable companion. By her side, therefore, we 
saUied forth to the destined cover, which was a dingle or copse 
on the side of an extensive common. As we rode thither, I 
observed to Diana, " that I did not see my cousin Rashleigh in the 
field;" to which she replied, — "O no — he's a mighty hunter, but 
it's after the fashion of Nimrod, and his game is man." 

The dogs now brushed into the cover, with the appropriate 
encouragement from the hunters — all was business, bustle, and 
activity. My cousins were soon too much interested in the busi- 
ness of the morning to take any further notice of me, unless that 
I overheard Dickon the horse-jockey whisper to Wilfred the fool — 
" Look thou, an our French cousin he nat off a' first burst." 

To which Wilfred answered, " Like enow, for he has a queer out- 
landish binding on's castor." 

Thomcliff, however, who in his rude way seemed not absolutely 
insensible to the beauty of his kinswoman, appeared determined 
to keep us company more closely than his brothers, perhaps to 
watch what passed betwixt Miss Vernon and me — perhaps to 
enjoy my expected mishaps in the chase. In the last particular 
hte was disappointed. After beating in vain for the greater part 
of the morning, a fox was at length found, who led us a chase 
of two hours, in the course of which, notwithstanding the ill- 
omened French binding upon my hat, I sustained my character 
as a horseman to the admiration of my uncle and Miss Vernon, 
and the secret disappointment of those who expected me to dis- 
grace it. Reynard, however, proved too wily for hi? pursuers, 
and the hounds were at fault. I could at this time observe in 

ga ROB ROY. 

Miss Vernon's manner an impatience of the close attendance which 
we received from Thorncliff Osbaldistone ; and, as that active- 
spirited young lady never hesitated at taking the readiest means to 
gratify any wish of the moment, she said to him, in a tone of 
reproach — "I wonder, Thornie, what keeps you dangling at my 
horse's crupper all this morning, when you know the earths above 
Woolverton-mill are not stopt." 

" I know no such an thing then, Miss Die, for the miller swore 
himself as black as night, that he stopt them at twelve o'clock, 
midnight that was." 

" O fie upon you, Thornie ! would you trust to a miller's word ? 
— and these earths, too, where we lost the fox three times this 
season, and you on your grey mare, that can gallop there and back 
in ten minutes ! " 

"Well, Miss Die, I'se go to Woolverton then, and if the earths 
are not stopt, I'se raddle Dick the miller's bones for him. 

" Do, my dear Thornie ; horsewhip the rascal to purpose — via — 
fly away, and about it ; " — Thorncliff went off at the gallop — " or 
get horsewhipt yourself, which will serve my purpose just as well. — 
I must teach them all discipline and obedience to the word of com- 
mand. I am raising a regiment, you must know. Thornie shall 
be my sergeant-major, Dickon my riding-master, and Wilfred, with 
his deep dub-a-dub tones, that speak but three syllables at a time, 
my kettle-drummer." 


" Rashleigh shall be my scout-master." 

" And will you find no employment for me, most lovely colonel ? " 

"You shall have the choice of being paymaster, or plunder- 
master, to the corps. But see how the dogs puzzle about there. 
Come, Mr. Frank, the scent's cold ; they won't recover it there 
this while ; follow me, I have a view to show you." 

And, in fact, she cantered up to the top of a gentle hill, com- 
manding an extensive prospect. Casting her eyes around, to see 
that no one was near us, she drew up her horse beneath a few 
birch-trees, which screened us from the rest of the hunting-field — 
" Do you see yon peaked, brown, heathy hill, having something 
like a whitish speck upon the side ? " 

" Terminating that long ridge of broken moorish uplands ? — I 
see it distinctly." 

" That whitish speck is a rock called Hawkesmore-crag, and 
Hawkesmore-crag is in Scotland." 
' " Indeed ? I did not think we had been so near Scotland." 

" It is so, I assure you, and your horse will carry you there in 
two hours." 

ROB ROY. 93 

" I shall hardly give him the trouble ; why, the distance must be 
eighteen miles as the crow flies." 

" You may have my mare, if you think her less blown — I say, 
that in two hours you may be in Scotland." 

" And I say, that I have so little desire to be there, that if my 
horse's head were over the Border, I would not give his tail the 
trouble of following. What should I do in Scotland ? " 

" Provide for your safety, if I must speak plainly. Do you 
understand me now, Mr. Frank ? " 

" Not a whit ; you are more and more oracular." 

" Then, on my word, you either mistrust me most unjustly, and 
are a better dissembler than Rashleigh Osbaldistone himself, or 
you know nothing of what is imputed to you ; and then no wonder 
you stare at me in that grave manner, which I can scarce see with- 
out laughing." 

" Upon my word of honour. Miss Vernon," said I, with an im- 
patient feeling of her childish disposition to mirth, " I have not the 
most distant conception of what you mean. I am happy to afford 
you any subject of amusement, but I am quite ignorant in what it 

" Nay, there's no sound jest after all," said the young lady, com- 
posing herself ; " only one looks so very ridiculous when he is 
^ fairly perplexed. But the matter is serious enough. Do you know 
one Moray, or Morris, or some such name?" 

" Not that I can at present recollect." 

" Think a moment.— Did you not lately travel with somebody of 
such a name .■" " 

" The only man with whom I travelled for any length of time 
was a fellow whose soul seemed to lie in his portmanteau." 

" Then it was like the soul of the licentiate Pedro Garcias, which 
lay among the ducats in his leathern purse. That man has been 
robbed, and he has lodged an information against you, as connected! 
with the violence done to him." 

" You jest, Miss Vernon ! " 

" I do not, I assure you — the thing is an absolute fact." 

" And do you," said I, with strong indignation, which I did not 
attempt to suppress, " do you suppose me capable of meriting such 
a charge ? " 

" You would call me out for it, I suppose, had I the advantage of 
being a man — You may do so as it is, if you like it — I can shoot 
flying, as well as leap a five-barred gate." 

" And are colonel of a regiment of horse besides," replied I, 
reflecting how idle it was to be angry with her — " But do explain 
the present jest to me." 

94 ROB ROY. 

" There's no jest whatever," said Diana ; " you are accused of 
robbing this man, and my uncle beUeves it as well as I did." 

" Upon my honour, I am greatly obliged to my friends for their 
good opinion ! " 

" Now do not, if you can help it, snort and stare, and snuff the 
wind, and look so exceedingly like a startled horse — There's no 
such offence as you suppose — ^you are not charged with any petty 
larceny, or vulgar felony — by no means. This fellow was carrying 
money from Government, both specie and bills, to pay the troops 
in the north ; and it is said he has been also robbed of some 
dispatches of great consequence." 

" And so it is high treason, then, and not simple robbery, of 
which I am accused ? " 

" Certainly ; which, you know, has been in all ages accounted 
the crime of a gentleman. You will find plenty in this country, 
and one not far from your elbow, who think it a merit to distress 
the- Hanoverian government by every means possible." 

" Neither my politics nor my morals. Miss Vernon, are of a 
description so accommodating." 

"I really begin to believe that you are a presbyterian and 
Hanoverian in good earnest. But what do you propose to 

*' Instantly to refute this atrocious calumny. — Before whom," I 
asked, " was this extraordinary accusation laid .'' " 

" Before old Squire Inglewood, who had sufficient unwillingness 
to receive it. He sent tidings to my uncle,, I suppose, that he 
might smuggle you away into Scotland, out of reach of the warrant. 
But my uncle is sensible that his religion and old predilections 
render him obnoxious to Government, and that, were he caught 
playing booty, he would be disarmed, and probably dismounted 
(which would be the worse evil of the two), as a Jacobite, Papist, 
and suspected person." * 

" I can conceive that, sooner than lose his hunters, he would 
give up his nephew." 

" His nephew, nieces, sons— daughters, if he had them, and 
whole generation," said Diana ; "therefore trust not to him, even 
for a single moment, but make the best of your way before they 
can serve the warrant." 

" That I shall certainly do ; but it shall be to the house of this 
Squire Inglewood — Which way does it lie ? " 

" About five miles off, in the low ground, behind yonder planta- 
tions' — you may see the tower of the clock-house. 

" I wiU be there in a few minutes," said I, putting my horse in 

ROB ROY. 95 

"And I will go with you, and show you the way," said Diana, 
putting her palfrey also to the trot. 

" Do not think of it. Miss Vernon," I replied. " It is not — 
permit me the freedom of a friend — it is not proper, scarcely even 
delicate, in you to go with me on such an errand as I am now 

" I understand your meaning," said Miss Vernon, a slight blush 
crossing her haughty brow ;— " it is plainly spoken ; — and after a 
moment's pause she added, " and I believe kindly meant." 

" It is indeed. Miss Vernon ; can you think me insensible of the 
interest you show me, or ungrateful for it ? " said I, with even more 
earnestness than I could have wished to express. " Yours is meant 
for true kindness, shown best at the hour of need. But I must not, 
for your own sake — for the chance of misconstruction — suffer you 
to pursue the dictates of your generosity ; this is so public an 
occasion — it is almost like venturing into an open court of justice." 

" And if it were not almost, but altogether entering into an open 
court of justice, do you think I would not go there, if I thought it 
right, and wished to protect a friend ? You have no one to stand 
by you — ^you are a stranger ; and here, in the outskirts of the king- 
dom, country justices do odd things. My uncle has no desire to 
embroil himself in your affair ;— Rashleigh is absent, and were he 
here, there is no knowing which side he might take ; the rest are 
all more stupid and brutal one than another. I will go with you, 
and I do not fear being able to serve you. I am no fine lady, to be 
terrified to death with law books, hard words, or big wigs." 

" But, my dear Miss Vernon " 

" But, my dear Mr. Francis, be patient and quiet, and let me take 
my ovm way ; for when I take the bit between my teeth, there is no 
bridle will stop me." 

Flattered with the interest so lovely a creature seemed to take 
in my fete, yet vexed at the ridiculous appearance I should make, 
by carrying a girl of eighteen along with me as an advocate, and 
seriously concerned for the misconstruction to which her motives 
might be exposed, I endeavoured to combat her resolution to 
accompany me to Squire Inglewood's. The self-willed girl told me 
roundly, that my dissuasions were absolutely in vain ; that she was 
a true Vernon, whom no consideration, not even that of being able 
to do but little to assist him, should induce to abandon a friend in 
distress ; and that all I could say on the subject might be very 
well for pretty, well-educated, well-behaved misses from a town 
boarding-school, but did not apply to her, who was accustomed to 
mind nobody's opinion but her own. 

While she spoke thus, we were advancing hastily towards Ingle- 

96 ROB ROY. 

wood-Place, while, as if to divert me from the task of farther 
remonstrance, she drew a ludicrous picture of the magistrate and 
his clerk. Inglewood was, according to her description, a white- 
washed Jacobite ; that is, one who having been long a non-juror, 
like most of the other gentlemen of the country, had lately quahfied 
himself to act as a justice, by taking the oaths to Government. 
" He had done so," she said, " in compliance with the urgent 
request of most of his brother squires, who saw, with regret, that 
the palladium of silvan sport, the game-laws, were likely to fall into 
disuse for want of a magistrate who would enforce them ; the 
nearest acting justice being the Mayor of Newcastle, and he, as 
being rather inclined to the consumption of the game when 
properly dressed, than to its preservation when alive, was more 
partial, of course, to the cause of the poacher than of the sportsman. 
Resolving, therefore, that it was expedient some one of their 
number should sacrifice the scruples of Jacobitical loyalty to the 
good of the community, the Northumbrian country gentlemen 
imposed the duty on Inglewood, who, being very inert in most of 
his feelings and sentiments, might, they thought, comply with any 
political creed without much repugnance. Having thus procured 
the body of justice, they proceeded," continued Miss Vernon, " to 
attach to it a clerk, by way of soul, to direct and animate its move- 
ments. Accordingly, they got a sharp Newcastle attorney, called 
Jobson, who, to vary my metaphor, finds it a good thing enough to 
retail justice at the sign of Squire Inglewood, and, as his own 
emoluments depend on the quantity of business which he transacts, 
he hooks in his principal for a great deal more employment in the 
justice line than the honest squire had ever bargained for ; so that 
no apple-wife within the circuit of ten miles can settle her account 
with a costermonger without an audience of the reluctant Justice 
and his alert clerk, Mr. Joseph Jobson. But the most ridiculous 
scenes occur when affairs come before him, like our business of to^ 
day, having any colouring of politics. Mr. Joseph Jobson (for 
which, no doubt, he has his own very sufficient reasons) is a pro- 
digious realot for the Protestant religion, and a great friend to the 
present establishment in church and state. Now, his principal, 
retaining a sort of instinctive attachment to the opinions which he 
professed openly, until he relaxed his political creed with the 
patriotic view of enforcing the law against unauthorized destroyers 
of black-game, grouse, partridges, and hares, is peculiarly embar- 
rassed when the zeal of his assistant involves him in judicial pro- 
ceedings connected with his earlier faith ; and, instead of seconding 
his zeal, he seldom fails to oppose to it a double dose of indolence 
and lack of exertion. And this inactivity does not by any means 

ROB ROY. 5r 

arise from actual stupidity. On the contrary, for one whose 
principal delight is in eating and drinking, he is an alert, joyous, 
and lively old soul, which makes his assumed dulness the more 
diverting. So you may see Jobson on such occasions, like a bit 
of a broken-down blood-tit condemned to drag an overloaded cart, 
pufifing, strutting, and spluttering, to get the Justice put in motion, 
while, though the wheels groan, creak, and revolve slowly, the 
great and preponderating weight of the vehicle fairly frustrates the 
efforts of the willing quadruped, and prevents its being brought 
into a state of actual progression. Nay more, the unfortunate 
pony, I understand, has been heard to complain, that this same car 
of justice, which he finds it so hard to put in motion on some 
occasions, can on others run fast enough down hill of its own 
accord, dragging his reluctant self backwards along with it, when 
anything can be done of service to Squire Inglewood's quondam 
friends. And then Mr. Jobson talks big about reporting his 
principal to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if it 
were not for his particular regard and friendship for Mr. Inglewood 
and his family." 

As Miss Vernon concluded this whimsical description, we found 
ourselves in front of Inglewood Place, a handsome, though old- 
fashioned building, which showed the consequence of the family. 


" Sir," quoth the Lawyer, " not to flatter ye, , 

You have as good and fair a battery 

As heart could wish, and need not shame 

The proudest man alive to claim." Butler. 

Our horses were taken by a servant in Sir Hildebrand's livery, 
whom we found in the court-yard, and we entered the house. In 
the entrance-hall I was somewhat surprised, and my fair companion, 
still more so, when we met Rashleigh Osbaldistone, who could not 
help showing equal wonder at our rencontre. 

" Rashleigh," said Miss Vernon, without giving him time to ask 
any question, " you have heard of Mr. Francis Osbaldistone's affair, 
and you have been talking to the Justice about it ? " 

" Certainly," said Rashleigh, composedly, " it has been my busi- 
ness here. I have been endeavouring," he said, with a bow to me, 
" to render my cousin what service I can. But I am sorry to meet 
him here." 

" As a friend and relation, Mr. Osbaldistone, you ought to have 

98 ROB ROY. 

been sorry to have met me anywhere else, at a time when •the 
charge of my reputation required me to be on this spot as soon 
as possible." 

" True ; but, judging from what my father said, I should have 
supposed a short retreat into Scotland—just till matters should be 
smoothed over in a quiet way " 

I answered with warmth, " That I had no prudential measures to 
observe, and desired to have nothing smoothed over ; on the con- 
trary, I was come to inquire into a rascally calumny, which I was 
determined to'probe to the bottom." 

" Mr. Francis Osbaldistone is an innocent man, Rashleigh>" said 
Miss Vernon, " and he demands an investigation of the charge 
against him, and I intend to support him in it." 

" You do, my pretty cousin? — I should think, now, Mr. Francis 
Osbaldistone was likely to be as effectually, and rather more deli- 
cately, supported by my presence than by yours." 

" O certainly ; but two heads are better than one, you know." 

" Especially such a head as yours, my pretty Die," advancing and 
taking her hand with a familiar fondness, which made me think 
him fifty times uglier than nature had made him. She led him, 
however, a few steps aside ; they conversed in an under voice, and 
she appeared to insist upon some request which he was unwilling or 
unable to comply with. I never saw so strong a contrast betwixt 
the expression of two faces. Miss Vernon's, from being earnest, 
became angry. Her eyes and cheeks became more animated, her 
colour mounted, she clenched her little hand, and, stamping on 
the ground with her tiny foot, seemed to listen with a mixture of 
contempt and indignation to the apologies, which, from his look of 
civil deference, his composed and respectful smile, his body rather 
drawing back than advanced, and other signs of look and person, I 
concluded him to be pouring out at her feet. At length she flung 
away from him, with " I will have it. so." 

" It is not in my power — there is no possibility of it. — Would you 
think it, Mr. Osbaldistone ? " said he, addressing me-^ — " 

" You are not mad ? " said she, interrupting him. 

" Would you think it ? " said he, without attending to her hint — 
" Miss Vernon insists, not only that I know your innocence (of 
which, indeed, it is impossible for any one to he more convinced), 
but that I must also be acquainted with the real perpetrators of the 
outrage on this fellow— »if, indeed, such an outrage has been com- 
mitted. Is this reasonable, Mr. Osbaldistone?" 

" I wiU not allow any to appeal to Mr. Osbaldistone, Rashleigh," 
said the young lady ; " he does not know, as I do, the incredible 
extent and accuracy of your information on all points." 

ROB ROY. 99 

"As I am a gentleman, you do me more honour than I 

" Justice, Rashleigh — only justice ; — and it is only justice which 
I expect at your hands." 

" You are a tyrant, Diana," he answered, with a sort of sigh — " a 
capricious tyrant, and rule your friends with a rod of iron. Still, 
however, it shall be as you desire. But you ought not to be here — 
you know you ought not ; — you must return with me." 

Then turning from Diana, who seemed to stand undecided, he 
came up to me in the most friendly manner, and said, " Do not 
, doubt my interest in what regards you, Mr. Osbaldistone. If I 
leave you just at this moment, it is only to act for your advantage. 
But you must use your influence with your cousin to return ; her 
presence cannot serve you, and must prejudice herself." 

"I assure you, sir," I replied, "you cannot be more convinced of 
this than I ; I have urged Miss Vernon's return as anxiously as she 
would permit me to do." 

" I have thought on it," said Miss Vernon, after a pause, " and I 
wiU not go till I see you safe out of the hands of the Philistines. 
Cousin Rashleigh, I dare say, means well ; but he and I know each 
other well. — Rashleigh, I will not go ; — I know," she added, in a 
more soothing tone, " my being here will give you more motive for 
speed and exertion." 

" Stay, then, rash, obstinate girl," said Rashleigh ; "you know but 
too well to whom you trust ; " and hastening out of the hall, we 
heard his horse's feet a minute afterwards in rapid motion. 

" Thank Heaven, he is gone ! " said Diana. " And now let us 
seek out the Justice," 

" Had we not better call a servant ?" 

" O, by no means ; I know the way to his den — we must burst on 
him suddenly — follow me." 

I did follow her accordingly, as she tripped up a few gloomy 
steps, traversed a twilight passage, and entei-ed a sort of ante-room, 
hung round with old maps, architectural elevations, and genealogical 
trees. A pair of folding doors opened from this into Mr. Ingle- 
wood's sitting apartment, from which was heard the fag-end of an 
old ditty, chanted by a voice, which had been in its day fit for a 
jolly bottle-song. 

" O, in Skipton-in-Ci:aven 
Is never a haven. 

But many a day foul weather ; 
And he that would say 
A pretty girl nay, 

I wish for his cravat a tether." 

loo ROB ROY. 

" Heyday !" said Miss Vernon, "the genial Justice must have 
dined already— I did not think it had been so late." 

It was even so. Mr. Inglewood's appetite having been sharpened 
by his official investigations, he had ante-dated his meridian repast, 
having dined at twelve instead of one o'clock, then the general 
dining hour in England. The various occurrences of the morning 
occasioned our arriving some time after this hour, to the Justice 
tjie most important of the four-and-twenty, and he had not 
neglected the interval. 

" Stay you here," said Diana. " I know the house, and I will call 
a servant : your sudden appearance might startle the old gentle- 
man even to choking ; "and she escaped from me, leaving me un- 
certain whether I ought to advance or retreat. It was impossible 
for me not to hear some part of what passed within the dinner 
apartment, and particularly several apologies for declining to sing, 
expressed in a dejected croaking voice, the tones of which, I con- 
ceived, were not entirely new to me. 

" Not sing, sir ? by our Lady ! but you must — ^What ! you have 
cracked my silver-mounted cocoa-nut of sack, and tell me that you 
cannot sing ! — Sir, sack will make a cat sing, and speak too ; so up 
with a merry stave, or trundle yourself out of my doors ! — Do you 
think you are to take up all my valuable time with your d — d decla- 
rations, and then tell me you cannot sing ? " 

" Your worship is perfectly in rule," said another voice, which, 
from its pert conceited accent, might be that of the clerk, " and the 
party must be conformable ; he hath canet written on his face in 
court hand." 

" Up with it, then," said the Justice, " or, by St. Christopher, you 
shall crack the cocoa-nut full of salt-and-water, according to the 
statute for such effect made and provided." 

Thus exhorted and threatened, my quondam fellow-traveller, for 
I could no longer doubt that he was the recusant in question, up- 
lifted, with a voice similar to that of a criminal singing his last 
psalm on the scaffold, a most doleful stave to the following effect : 

" Good people all, I pray give ear 
A woful story you shall hear, 
'Tis of a robber as stout us ever 
Bade a true man stand and deliver. 

With his foodie doo fa loodle loo. 

•' This knave, most worthy of a cord, 
Being arm'd with pistol and with sword, 
'Twixt Kensington and Brentford then 
Did boldly stop six honest men. 
With his foodie doo, &c. 




ROB ROY. lol 

" These honest men did at Brentford dine, 
Having drank each man his pint of wine, 
When this bold thief, with many curses, 
Did say, You dogs, your lives or purses, 
With his foodie doo," &c. 

I question if the honest men, whose misfortune is commemorated 
in this pathetic ditty, were more startled at the appearance of the 
bold thief, than the songster was at mine ; for, tired of waiting for 
some one to announce me, and finding my situation as a listener 
rather awkward, I presented myself to the company just as my 
friend Mr. Morris, for such, it seems, was his name, was uplifting 
the fifth stave of his doleful ballad. The high tone with which the 
tune started, died away in a quaver of consternation, on finding 
himself so near one whose character he supposed to be little less 
suspicious than that of the hero of his madrigal, and he remained 
silent, with a mouth gaping as if I had brought the Gorgon's head 
in my hand. 

The Justice, whose eyes had closed under the influence of the 
somniferous lullaby of the song, started up in his ehair as it sud- 
denly ceased, and stared with wonder at the unexpected addition 
which the company had received, while his organs of sight were in 
abeyance. The clerk, as I conjectured him to be from his appear- 
ance, was also commoved ; for, sitting opposite to Mr. Morris, that 
honest gentleman's terror communicated itself to him, though he 
wotted not why. 

I broke the silence of surprise occasioned bymyabrupt entrance. — 
" My name, Mr. Inglewood, is Francis Osbaldistone ; I understand 
that some scoundrel has brought a complaint before you, charging 
me with being concerned in a loss which he says he has sustained." 
" Sir," said the Justice, somewhat peevishly, " these are matters 
I never enter upon after dinner ; — there is a time for everything, 
and a justice of peace must eat as well as other folks." 

The goodly person of Mr. Inglewood, by the way, seemed by no 
means to have suffered by any fasts, whether in the service of the 
law or of religion. 

" I beg pardon for an ill-timed visit, sir ; but as my reputation is 

concerned, and as the dinner appears to be concluded " 

" It is not concluded, sir," replied the magistrate ; " a man 
requires digestion as well as food, and I protest I cannot have 
benefit from my victuals, unless I am allowed two hours of quiet 
leisure intermixed with harmless mirth, and a moderate circulation 
of the bottle. 

" If your honour will forgive me," said Mr. Jobson, who had pro- 
duced and arranged his writing implements in the brief space that 

102 ROB ROY. 

our conversation afforded ; " as this is a case of felony, and the 
gentleman seems something impatient, the charge is contra pacem 
domini regis'' 

" D — n dominie regis /" said the impatient Justice — " I hope it's 
no treason to say so — but it's enough to make one mad to be wor- 
ried in this way — ^have I a moment of my life quiet, for warrants, 
orders, directions, acts, bails, bonds, and recogisances ? — I pro- 
nounce to you, Mr. Jobson, that I shall send you and the justice- 
ship to the devil one of these days." 

" Your honour will consider the dignity of the office — one of the 
quorum and custos rotulorum, an office of which Sir Edward Coke 
wisely saith. The whole Christian world hath not the like of it, so 
it be duly executed." 

" Well," said the Justice, partly reconciled by this eulogium on 
the dignity of his situation, and gulping down the rest of his dis- 
satisfaction in a huge bumper of claret, " let us to this gear then, 
and get rid of it as fast as we can. — Here you, sir — you, Morris^ 
you, knight of the sorrowful countenance — is this Mr. Francis 
Osbaldistone the gentleman whom you charge with being art and 
part of felony ? " , 

" I, sir ? " replied Morris, whose scattered wits had hardly yet reas- 
sembled themselves — " I charge nothing — I say nothing against the 

" Then we dismiss your complaint, sir, that's all, and a good 
riddance — Push about the bottle — Mr. Osbaldistone, help yourself." 

Jobson, however, was determined that Morris should not back 
out of the scrape so easily. " What do you mean, Mr. Morris ? — 
Here is your own declaration— the ink scarce dried — and you would 
retract it in this scandalous manner ! " 

" How do I know," whispered the other, in a tremulous tone, 
*' how many rogues are in the house to back him ? — I have read of 
such things in Johnson's Lives of the Highwaymen. I protest the 
•door opens " 

" And it did open, and Diana Vernon entered — " You keep fine 
order here. Justice — not a servant to be seen or heard of." 

" Ah ! " said the Justice, starting up with an alacrity which showed 
-that he was not so engrossed by his devotions to Themis, or Comus, 
as to forget what was due to beauty — " Ah, ha ! Die Vernon, the 
heath-bell of Cheviot, and the blossom of the Border, come to see 
how the old bachelor keeps house ? — Art welcome, girl, as flowers 
in May." 

" A fine, open, hospitable house you do keep. Justice, that must 
be allowed — not a soul to answer a visitor." 

" Ah, the knaves ! they reckoned themselves secure of me for a 

ROB ROY. 103 

couple of hours — But why did you not come earlier ?^Your cousin 
Rashleigh dined here, and ran away like a poltroon after the first 
bottle was out— But you have not dined — we'll have something 
nice and ladylike^sweet and pretty, like yourself, tossed up in a 

" I may eat a crust in the ante-room before I set out," answered 
Miss Vernon — " I have had a long ride this morning ; but I Can't 
stay long, Justice — I came with my cousin, Frank Osbaldistone, 
there, and I must show him the way back again to the Hall, or he'll 
lose himself in the wolds." 

" Whew ! sits the wind in that quarter? " inquired the Justice, — 

' She show'd him the way, and she shoVd him the way. 
She show'd him the way to woo.' 

What ! no luck for old fellows, then, my sweet bud of the wil- 

" None whatever, Squire Inglewood ; but if you will be a good 
kind Justice, and dispatch young Frank's business, and let us 
canter home again, I'll bring my uncle to dine with you next week, 
and we'll expect merry doings." 

" And you shall find them, my pearl of the Tyne — Zookers, lass, 
I never envy these young fellows their rides and scampers, unless 
when you come across me. But I must not keep you just now, I 
suppose? — I am quite satisfied with Mr. Francis Osbaldistotie's ex- 
planation — here has been some mistake, which can be cleared at 
greater leisure." 

" Pardon me, sir," said I, " but I have not heard the nature of 
the accusation yet." 

" Yes, sir," said the clerk, who, at the appearance of Miss Vernon, 
had given up the matter in despair, but who picked up courage to 
press farther investigation, on finding himself supported from a 
quarter whence assuredly he expected no backing — " Yes, sir, and 
Dalton saith, That he who is apprehended as a felon shall not be 
discharged upon any man's discretion, but shall be held either to 
bail or commitment, paying to the clerk of the peace the usual fees 
for recognisance or commitment." 

The Justice, thus goaded on, gave me at length a few words of 

It seems the tricks which I had played to this man, Morris, had 
made a strong impression on his imagination,; for I found they 
had been arrayed against me in his evidence, with all the exaggera- 
tions which a timorous and heated imagination could suggest. It 
appeared also, that on the day he parted from me, he had been 
stopped on a solitary spot, and eased of his beloved travelling-com- 

104 ROB ROY. 

panion, the portmanteau, by two men, well mounted and armed, 
having'their faces covered with vizards. 

One of them, he conceived, had much of my shape and air, and 
in a whispering conversation which took place betwixt the free- 
booters, he heard the other apply to him the name of Osbaldistone. 
The declaration farther set forth, that upon inquiring into the prin- 
ciples of the family so named, he, the said declarant, was informed 
that they were of the worst description, the family, in all its mem- 
bers, having been Papists and Jacobites, as he was given to under- 
stand by the dissenting clergyman at whose house he stopped after 
his rencontre, since the days of William the Conqueror. 

Upon all and each of these weighty reasons, he charged me with 
being accessory to the felony committed upon his person ; he, the 
said declarant, then travelling in the special employrrient of Go- 
vernment, and having charge of certain important papers, and also 
a large sum in specie, to be paid over, according to his instructions, 
to certain persons of official trust and importance in Scotland. 

Having heard this extraordinary accusation, I replied to it, that 
the circumstances on which it was founded were such as could war- 
rant no justice, or magistrate, in any attempt on my personal 
liberty. I admitted that I had practised a little upon the terrors of 
Mr. Morris, while we travelled together, but in such trifling parti- 
culars as could have excited apprehension in no one who was one 
whit less timorous and jealous than himself Bnt I added, that I 
had never seen him since we parted, and if that which he feared 
had really come upon him, I was in nowise accessory to an action 
so unworthy of my character and station in life. That one 
of the robbers was called Osbaldistone, or that such a name 
was mentioned in the course of the conversation betwixt them, was 
a trifling circumstance, to which no weight was due. And concern- 
ing the disaffection alleged against me, I was willing to prove, to 
the satisfaction of the Justice, the clerk, and even the witness him- 
self, that I was of the same persuasion as his friend the dissenting 
clergyman ; had been educated as a good subject in the prin- 
ciples of the Revolution, and as such now demanded the personal 
protection of the laws which had been assured by that great 

The Justice fidgeted, took snuff, and seemed considerably embar- 
rassed, while Mr. Attorney Jobson, with all the volubility of his 
profession, ran over the statute of the 34 Edward III., by which 
justices of the peace are allowed to arrest all those whom they find 
by indictment or suspicion, and to put them into prison. The 
rogue even turned my own admissions against me, alleging, " that 
since I had confessedly, upon my own showing, assumed the bear- 


ing or deportment of a robber or malefactor, I had voluntarily sub- 
jected myself to the suspicions of which I complained, and brought 
myself within the compass of the act, having wilfully clothed my 
conduct with all the colour and livery of guilt." 

I combated both his arguments and his jargon with much indig- 
nation and scorn, and' observed, " That I should, if necessary, pro- 
duce the bail of my relations, which I conceived could not be 
refused, without subjecting the magistrate in a misdemeanour." 

" Pardon me, my good sir — pardon me," said the insatiable clerk ; 
" this is a case in which neither bail nor mainprize can be received, 
the felon who is liable to be committed on heavy grounds of sus- 
picion, not being replevisable under the statute of the 3d of King 
Edward, there being in that act an express exception of such as be 
charged of commandment, or force, and aid of felony done ; " and 
he hinted that his worship would do well to remember that such 
were no way replevisable by common writ, nor without writ. 

At this period of the conversation a servant entered, and delivered 
a letter to Mr. Jobson. He had no sooner run it hastily over, than 
he exclaimed, with the air of one who wished to appear much vexed 
at the interruption, and felt the consequence attached to a man of 
multifarious avocations — " Good God ! — why, at this rate, I shall 
have neither time to attend to the public concerns nor my own— no 
rest — no quiet — I wish to Heaven another gentleman in our line 
would settle here ! " 

" God forbid ! " said the Justice, in a tone of sotto-voce depreca- 
tion ; " some of us have enough of one of the tribe." 

" This is a matter of life and death, if your worship pleases." 

" In God's name ! no more justice business, I hope," said the 
alarmed magistrate, 

"No — no," replied Mr. Jobson, very consequentially; "old 
Gaffer Rutledge of Grime's-hill is subpoena'd for the next world ; he 
has sent an express for Dr. Kill-down to put in bail — another for 
me"to arrange his worldly affairs." 

" Away with you, then," said Mr. Inglewood, hastily ; " his may 
not be a replevisable case under the statute, you know, or Mr. 
Justice Death may not like the doctor for a main pernor, or 

" And yet," said Jobson, lingering as he moved towards the 
door, " if my presence here be necessary — I could make out the 
warrant for committal in a moment, and the constable is below — 
And you have heard," he said, lowering his voice, " Mr. Rashleigh's 
opinion " — the rest was lost in a whisper. 

The Justice replied aloud, " I tell thee no, man, no — well do 
nought till thou return, man ; 'tis but a four-mile ride — Come, push 

io6 ROB ROY. 

the bottle, Mr. Morris— Don't be cast down, Mr. Osbaldistone— 
And you, my rose of the wilderness^one cup of claret to refresh 
the bloom of your cheeks." 

Diana started, as if from a reverie, in which she appeared to 
have been plunged while we held this discussion. " No, Justice, I 
should be afraid of transferring the bloom to a part of my face 
where it would show to little advantage ; but I will pledge you in a 
cooler beverage ; " and, filling a glass with water, she drank it 
hastily, while her hurried manner belied her assumed gaiety. 

I had not much leisure to make remarks upon her demeanour, 
however, being full of vexation at the interference of fresh obstacles 
to an instant examination of the disgraceful and impertinent charge 
which was brought against me. But there was no moving the 
Justicq to take the matter up in absence of his clerk, an incident 
which gave him apparently as much pleasure as a holiday to a 
schoolboy. He persisted in his endeavours to inspire jollity into a 
company, the individuals of which, whether considered with refer- 
ence to each other, or to their respective situations, were by no 
means inclined to mirth. " Come, Master Morris, you're not the 
first man thaf s been robbed, I trow-^grieving ne'er brought back 
loss, man — And you, Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, are not the first 
bully-boy that has said stand to a true man. There was Jack Win- 
terfield, in my young days, kept the best company in the land — at 
horse-races and cock-fights who but he — hand and glove was I with 
Jack — Push the bottle, Mr. Morris, it's dry talking — Many quart 
bumpers have I cracked, and thrown many a merry main with poor 
Jack — good family— ready wit — quick eye — as honest a fellow, 
barring the deed he died for — we'll drink to his memory, gentle- 
men — Poor Jack Winterfield-^-And since we talk of him, and of 
those sort of things, and since that d — d clerk of mine has taken 
his gibberish elsewhere, and since we're snug -among ourselves, Mr. 
Osbaldistone, if you will have my best advice, I would take up this 
matter — the law's hard — very severe — hanged poor Jack Winter- 
field at York, despite family connexions and greast interest — all for 
easing a fat west-country grazier of the price of a few beasts — Now, 
here is honest Mr. Morris has been frightened, and so forth — D — n 
it, man, let the poor fellow have back his portmanteau, and end the 
frolic at once." 

Morris's eyes brightened up at this suggestion, and he began to 
hesitate forth an assurance that he thirsted for no man's blood, 
when I cut the proposed accommodation short, by resenting the Jus- 
tice's suggestion as an insult, that went directly to suppose me 
guilty of the very crime Which I had come to his house with the 
express intention of disavowing. We were in this awkward predi- 

ROB ROY. 107 

cament, when a servant, opening the door, announced, " A strange 
gentleman to wait upon his honour ; " and the party whom he thus 
described entered the room without farther ceremony. 


One of the thieves come back again ! I'll stand close. 
He dares not wrong me now, so near the house. 
And call in vain 'tis, till I see him offer it. 

The Widow. 

"A stranger!" echoed the Justice — "not upon business, I 
trust, for I'll be"— 

His protestation was cut short by the answer of the man himself. 
" My business is of a nature somewhat onerous and particular," 
said my acquaintance, Mr. Campbell — for it was he, the very 
Scotchman whom I had seen at Northallerton — "and I must solicit 
your honour to give instant and heedful consideration to it. — I 
believe, Mr. Morris," he added, fixing his eye on that person with 
a look of peculiar firmness and almost ferocity — " I believe ye ken 
brawly what I am — I believe ye cannot have forgotten what passed 
at our last meeting on the road ? " Morris's jaw dropped— his 
countenance became the colour of tallow — ^his teeth chattered, and 
he gave visible signs of the utmost consternation. " Take heart of 
grace, man," said Campbell, " and dinna sit clattering your jaws 
there like a pair of castanets ' I think there can be nae difficulty 
in your telling Mr. Justice, that ye have seen me of yore, and ken 
me to be a cavalier of fortune, and a man of honour. — Ye ken fu' 
weel ye will be some time resident in my vicinity, when I may have 
the power, as I will possess the inclination, to do you as good a 

" Sir — sir — I believe you to be a man of honour, and, as you say, 
a man of fortune. — Yes, Mr. Inglewood," he added, clearing his 
voice, " I really believe this gentleman to be so." 

" And what are this gentleman's commands with me ? " said the 
Justice, somewhat peevishly. " One man introduces another, like 
the rhymes in the ' house that Jack built,' and I get company with- 
out either peace or conversation ! " 

" Both shall be yours, sir," answered Campbell, " in a brief period 
of time. I come to release your mind from a piece of troublesome 
duty, not to make increment to it." 

" Body o' me ! then you are welcome as ever Scot was to Eng- 
land, and that's not saying much — but get on, man, let's hear what 
you have got to say at once." 

io8 ROB ROY. 

" I presume this gentleman," continued the North Briton, " told 
you there was a person of the name of Campbell with him, when he 
had the mischance to lose his valise ? " 

" He has not mentioned such a name, from beginning to end of 
the matter," said the Justice. 

" Ah ! I conceive— I conceive," replied Mr. Campbell ; — " Mr. 
Morris was kindly afeared of committing a stranger into collision 
wi' the judicial forms of the country '; but as I understand my evi- 
dence is necessary to the compurgatioft of ane honest gentleman 
here, Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, wha has been most unjustly 
suspected, I will dispense with the precaution. — Ye will therefore " 
(he added, addressing Morris with the same determined look and 
accent) " please tell Mr. Justice Inglewood whether we did not 
travel several miles together on the road, in consequence of your 
own anxious request and suggestion, reiterated ance and again, 
baith on the evening that we were at Northallerton, and there de- 
clined by me, but afterwards accepted, when I overtook you on the 
road near Cloberry AUers, and was prevailed on by you to resign 
my ain intentions of proceeding to Rothbury ; and, for my misfor- 
tune, to accompany you on your own proposed route." 

" It's a melancholy truth," answered Morris, holding down his 
head, as he gave this general assent to the long and leading ques- 
tion which Campbell put to him, and seeming to acquiesce in the 
statement it contained with rueful docility. 

"And I presume you can also asseverate to his worship, that no 
man is better qualified than I am to bear testimony in this case, 
seeing that I was by you, and near you, constantly during the whole 

" No man better qualified, certainly," said Morris, with a deep 
and embarrassed sigh. 

" And why the devil did you not assist him, then," said the 
Justice, "since, by Mr. Morris's account, there were but two 
robbers ; so you were two to two, and you are both stout likely 

" Sir, if it please your worship," said Campbell, " I have been all 
my life a man of peace and quietness, noways given to broils or 
batteries. Mr. Morris, who belongs, as I understand, or hath be- 
longed, to his Majesty's army, might have used his pleasure in 
resistance, he travelling, as I also understand, with a great charge 
of treasure ; but for me, who had but my own small peculiar to 
defend, and who am, moreover, a man of a pacific occupation, I was 
unwilling to commit myself to hazard in the matter." 

I looked at Campbell as he uttered these words, and never recol- 
lect to have seen a more singular contrast than that between the 

ROB ROY. 109 

Strong daring sternness expressed in his harsh features, and the air 
of composed meekness and simplicity which his language assumed. 
There was even a slight ironical smile lurking about the corners of 
his mouth, which seemed, involuntarily as it were, to intimate his 
disdain of the quiet and peaceful character which he thought proper 
to assume, and which led me to entertain strange suspicions that 
his concern in the violence done to Morris had been something 
very different from that of a fellow-sufferer, or even of a mere 

Perhaps some such suspicions crossed the Justice's mind at the 
moment, for he exclaimed, as if by way of ejaculation, " Body 'o 
me ! but this is a strange story." 

The North Briton seemed to guess at what was passing in his 
mind ; for he went on, with a change of manner and tone, dismiss- 
ing from his countenance some part of the hypocritical affectation 
of humility which had made him obnoxious to suspicion, and say- 
ing, with a more frank and unconstrained air, " To say the truth, I 
am just ane o' those canny folks wha care not to fight but when 
they hae gotten something to fight for, which did not chance to be 
my predicament when I fell in wi' these loons. But that your 
worship may know that I am a person of good fame and character, 
please to cast your eye over that billet." 

Mr. Inglewood took the paper from his hands, and read, half 
aloud, " These are to certify, that the bearer, Robert Campbell, of 

of some place which I cannot pronounce," interjected the 

Justice — " is a person of good lineage, and peaceable demeanour, 
travelling towards England on his own proper affairs, &c., &c., &c. 
Given under our hand, at our Castle of Inver — Invera — rara — 


" A slight testimonial, sir, which I thought fit to impetrate from 
that worthy nobleman " (here he raised his hand to his head, as if 
to touch his hat), " MacCallum More." 

" MacCallum who, sir ? " said the Justice. 

" Whom the Southern call the Duke of Argyle." 

"I know the Duke of Argyle very well to be a nobleman of great 
worth and distinction, and a true lover of his country. I was one 
of those that stood by him in 1714, when he unhorsed the Duke of 
Marlborough out of his command. I wish we had more noblemen 
like him. He was an honest Tory in those days, and hand and 
glove with Ormond. And he has acceded to the present Govern- 
ment, as I have done myself, for the peace and quiet of his country; 
for I cannot presume that great man to have been actuated, as 
violent folks pretend, with the fear of losing his places and regi- 
ment. His testimonial, as you call it, Mr. Campbell, is perfectly 

no ROB ROY. 

satisfactory ; and now, what have you got to say to this matter of 
the robbery ? " 

"Brieflythis, if it please your worship ; that Mr. Morris might 
as weel charge it against the babe yet to be born, or against myself 
even, as against this young gentleman, Mr. Osbaldistone ; for I am. 
not only free to depone that the person for whom he took him was 
a shorter man, and a thicker man, but also, for I chanced to obtain 
a glisk of his visage, as his fause-face slipped aside, that he was a 
man of other features and complexion than those of this young gen- 
tleman, Mr. Osbaldistone. And I believe," he added, turning round 
with a natural, yet somewhat sterner air, to Mr. Morris, " that the 
gentleman will allow I had better opportunity to take cognizance 
wha were present on that occasion than he, being, I believe, much 
the cooler o' the twa." 

" I agree to it, sir — I agree to it perfectly," said Morris, shrinking 
back, as Campbell moved his chair towards him to fortify his 
appeal — " and I incUne, sir," he added, addressing Mr. Inglewood, 
" to retract my information as to Mr. Osbaldistone ; and I request, 
sir, you will permit him, sir, to go about his business, and me to go 
about mine also ; your worship may have business to settle with 
Mr. Campbell, and I am rather in haste to be gone." 

"Then, there go the declarations," said the Justice, throwing 
them into the fire — "And now you are at perfect liberty, Mr. 
Osbaldistone. — And you, Mr. Morris, are set quite at your ease." 

"Ay," said Campbell, eyeing Morris as he assented with a rueful 
grin to the Justice's observations, " much like the ease of a toad, 
under a pair of harrows — But fear nothing, Mr. Morris ; you and I 
maun leave the house thegither. I will see you safe — I hope you 
will not doubt my honour, when I say sae — to the next highway, 
and then we part company ; and if we do not meet as. friends in 
Scotland, it will be your ain fault." 

With such a lingering look of terror as the condemned criminal 
throws, when he is informed that the cart awaits him, Morris arose ; 
but when on his legs, appeared to hesitate. " I tell thee, man, fear 
nothing," reiterated Campbell ; " I will keep my word with you — 
Why, thou sheep's heart, how do ye ken but we may pick up 
some speerings of your valise, if ye will be amenable to good 
counsel ? — Our horses are ready. Bid the Justice fareweel, man, 
and show your southern breeding." 

Morris, thiis exhorted and encouraged, took his leave, under the 
escort of Mr. Campbell ; but, apparently, new scruples and terrors 
had struck him before they left the house, for I heard Campbell 
reiterating assurances of safety and protection as they left the 
ante-room — " By the soul of my body, man, thou'rt as safe as in thy 


father's kail-yard — Zounds ! that a chield wi' sic a black beard, 
should hae nae mair heart than a hen-partridge ! — Come on wi' ye, 
like a frank fallow, anes and for aye." 

The voices died away, and the subsequent trampling of their 
horses announced to us that they had left the mansion of Justice 

The joy which that worthy magistrate received at this easy con- 
clusion of a matter which threatened him with some trouble in his 
judicial capacity, was somewhat damped by reflection on what his 
clerk's views of the transaction might be at his return. " Now, I 

shall have Jobson on my shoulders about those d d papers — I 

doubt I should not have destroyed them, after all — But, hang it ! it 
is only paying his fees, and that will make all smooth — And now, 
Miss Die Vernon, though I have liberated all the others, I intend 
to sign a writ for committing you to the custody of Mother Blakes, 
miy old housekeeper, for the evening, and we will send for my 
neighbour, Mrs. Musgrave, and the Miss Dawkins, and your 
cousins, and have old Cobs the fiddler, and be as merry as the 
maids ; and Frank Osbaldistone and I will have a carouse that 
will make us fit company for you in half an hour." 

" Thanks, most worshipful," returned Miss Vernon ; " but, as 
matters stand, we must return instantly to Osbaldistone-Hall, 
■where they do not know what has become of us, and relieve my 
uncle of his anxiety on my cousin's account, which is just the same 
as if one of his own sons were concerned." 

" I believe it truly," said the Justice ; " for when his eldest son, 
Archie, came to a bad end, in that unlucky affair of Sir John Fen- 
wick's, old Hildebrand used to holloa out his name as readily as 
any of the remaining six, and then complain that he could not 
recollect which of ^his sons had been hanged. So, pray hasten 
home, and relieve his paternal solicitude, since go you must. — But 
hark thee hither, heath-blossom," he said, pulling her towards him 
by the hand, and in a good-humoured tone of admonition, "another 
time let the law take its course, without putting your pretty finger 
into her old musty pie, all full of fragments of law gibberish-^ 
French and dog-Latin — And, Die, my beauty, let young fellows 
show each other the way through the moors, in case you should lose 
your own road, while you are pointing out theirs, my pretty WiU o' 
the Wisp." 

With this admonition, he saluted and dismissed Miss Vernon, 
and took an equally kind farewell of me. 

" Thou seems to be a good tight lad, Mr. Frank, and I remember 
thy father too — ^he was my playfellow at school. Hark thee, lad, 
ride early at night, and don't swagger with chance passengers on 

112 ROB ROY. 

the king's highway. What, man ! all the king's liege subjects are 
not bound to understand joking, and it's ill cracking jests on matters 
of felony. And here's poor Die Vernon too— in a manner alone 
and deserted on the face of this wide earth, and left to ride, and 
run, and scamper at her own silly pleasure. Thou must be careful 
of Die, or, egad, I will turn a young fellow again on purpose, and 
fight thee myself, although I must own it would be a great deal of 
trouble. And now, get ye both gone, and leave me to my pipe of 
tobacco, and my meditations ; for what says the song — 

' The Indian leaf , doth briefly burn ; 
So doth man's strength to weakness turn ; — 
The fire of youth extinguished quite, 
Comes age, like embers, dry and white. 

Think of this as you take tobacco.'" 

I was much pleased with the gleams of sense and feeling which 
escaped from the Justice through the vapours of sloth and self- 
indulgence, assured him of my respect to his admonitions, and took 
a friendly farewell of the honest magistrate and his hospitable 

We found a repast prepared for us in the ante-room, which we 
partook of slightly, and rejoined the same servant of Sir Hilde- 
brand who had taken our horses at our entrance, and who had been 
directed, as he informed Miss Vernon, by Mr. Rashleigh, to wait 
and attend upon us home. We rode a little way in silence, for, to 
say truth, my mind was too much bewildered with the events of the 
morning, to permit me to be the first to break it. At length Miss 
Vernon exclaimed, as if giving vent to her own reflections, " Well, 
Rashleigh is a man to be feared and wondered at, and all but 
loved ; he does whatever he pleases, and makes all others his pup- 
pets — ^has a player ready to perform every part which he imagines, 
and an invention and readiness which supply expedients for every 

" You think, then," said I, answering rather to her meaning, than 
to the express words she made use of, " that this Mr. Campbell, 
whose appearance was so opportune, and who trussed up and carried 
off my accuser as a falcon trusses a partridge, was an agent of Mr. 
Rashleigh Osbaldistone's ? " 

" I do guess as much," replied Diana ; " and shrewdly suspect, 
moreover, that he would hardly have appeared so very much in the 
nick of time, if I had not happened to meet Rasleigh in the hall at 
the Justice's." 

" In that case, my thanks are chiefly due to you, my fair pre- 

" To be sure they are," returned Diana ; " and pray, suppose 

ROB ROY. 113 

them paid, and accepted with a gracious smile, for I do not care to 
be troubled with hearing them in good earnest, and am much more 
likely to yawn than to behave becoming. In short, Mr. Frank, I 
wished to serve you, and I have fortunately been able to do so, and 
have only one favour to ask in return, and that is, that you will say 
no more about it. — But who comes here to meet us, ' bloody with 
spurring, fiery-red with haste ? ' — It is the subordinate man of law, 
1 think, no less than Mr. Joseph Jobson." 

And Mr. Joseph Jobson it proved to be, in great haste, and as it 
speedily appeared, in most extreme bad humour. He came up to 
us, and stopped his horse, as we were about to pass with a slight 

" So, sir — so. Miss Vernon — ay — I see well enough how it is — 
bail put in during my absence, I suppose — I should like to know 
who drew the recognizance, that's all. If his worship uses this 
form of procedure often, I advise him to get another clerk, that's 
all, for I shall certainly demit." 

" Or suppose he get his present clerk stitched to his sleeve, Mr. 
Jobson," said Diana ; " would not that do as well ? And pray how 
does Farmer Rutledge, Mr. Jobson ! I hope you found him able 
to sign, seal, and deliver ? " 

This question seemed greatly to increase the wrath of the man 
of law. He looked at Miss Vernon with such an air of spite and 
resentment, as laid me under a strong temptation to knock him off 
his horse with the butt of my whip, which I only suppressed in 
consideration of his insignificance. 

"Farmer Rutledge, ma'am .' " said the clerk, so soon as his indig- 
nation permitted him to articulate, " Farmer Rutledge is in as hand- 
some enjoyment of his health as you are — it's all a bam, ma'am — all 
a bamboozle and a bite, that affair of his illness ; and if you did not. 
know as much before, you know it now, ma'am." 

" La you there now ! " replied Miss Vernon, with an affectation of 
extreme and simple wonder, " sure you don't say so, Mr. Jobson ? " 

" But 1 do say so, ma'am," rejoined the incensed scribe ; " and 
moreover I say, that the old miserly clod-breaker called me petti- 
fogger — pettifogger, ma'am — and said I came to hunt for a job, 
ma'am — which I have no more right to have said to me than any 
other gentleman of my profession, ma'am— especially as I am clerk 
to the peace, having and holding said office under Trigesimo Sep- 
timo Henrici Octavi and Prima Gulielini, the first of King William, 
ma'am, of glorious and immortal memory — our immortal deliverer 
from papists and pretenders, and wooden shoes and warming pans, 
Miss Vernon." 

" Sad things, these wooden shoes and warming pans," retorted the 


114 KOB ROY. 

young lady, who seemed to take pleasure in augmenting his wrath ; — 
and it is a comfort you don't seem to want a warming pan at 
present, Mr. Jobson. I am afraid Gaffer Rutledge has not con- 
fined his incivility to language— Are you sure he did not give you 
a beating ? " 

"Beating, ma'am!— no" — (very shortly) "no man alive shall 
beat me, I promise you, ma'am." 

" That is according as you happen to merit, sir," said I ; " for 
your mode of speaking to this young lady is so unbecoming, that, 
if you do not change your tone, I shall think it worth while to 
chastise you myself." 

" Chastise, sir ? and— me, sir ? — Do you know whom you speak 
to, sir?" 

" Yes, sir," I replied ; " you say yourself you are clerk of peace 
to the county ; and Gaffer Rutledge says you are a pettifogger; and 
in neither capacity are you entitled to be impertinent to a young 
lady of fashion." 

Miss Vernon laid her hand on my arm, and exclaimed, " Come, 
Mr. Osbaldistone, I wiU have no assaults and battery on Mr. Job- 
son ; I am not in sufficient charity with him to permit a single 
touch of your whip — why, he would live on it for a term at least. 
Besides, you have already hurt his feehngs sufficiently — you have 
called him impertinent." 

" I don't value his language. Miss," said the clerk, somewhat 
crest-fallen : " besides, impertinent is not an actionable word ; but 
pettifogger is slander in the highest degree, and that I will make 
Gaffer Rutledge know to his cost, and all who maliciously repeat 
the same, to the breach of the public peace, and the taking away of 
my private good name." 

, " Never mind that, Mr. Jobson," said Miss Vernon ; " you know, 
where there is nothing, your own law allows that the king himself 
must lose his rights ; and for the taking away of your good name, 
I pity the poor fellow who gets it, and wish you joy of losing it with 
all my heart." 

" Very well, ma'am — good evening, ma'am — I have no more to 
say — only there are laws against papists, which it would be well for 
the land were they better executed. There's third and fourth Ed- 
ward VI., of antiphoners, missals, grailes, processionals, manuals, 
legends, pies, portuasses, and those that have such trinkets in their 
possession, Miss Vernon — and there's summoning of papists to 
take the oaths — and there are popish recusant convicts under the 
first of his present Majesty — ay, and there are penalties for hear- 
ing mass. See twenty-third of Queen Elizabeth, and third James 
First, chapter twenty-fifth — And there are estates to be registered, 

ROB ROY. 115 

and deeds and wills to be enrolled, and double taxes to be made, 
according to the acts in that case made and provided " 

" See the new edition of the Statutes at Large, published under 
the careful revision of Joseph Jobson, Gent., Clerk of the Peace," 
said Miss Vernon. 

" Also, and above all," continued Jobson, — " for I speak to your 
warning — you, Diana Vernon, spinstress, not being a femme cou- 
verte, and being a convict popish recusant, are bound to repair to 
your own dwelling, and that by the nearest way, under penalty of 
being held felon to the king — and diligently to seek for passage at 
common ferries, and to tarry there but one ebb and flood ; and un- 
less you can have it in such places, to walk every day into the water 
up to the knees, assaying to pass over." 

'• A sort of Protestant penance for my Catholic errors, I sup- 
pose," said Miss Vernon, laughing. " Well, I thank you for the 
information, Mr. Jobson, and will hie me home as fast as I can, and 
be a better housekeeper in time coming. Good-night, my dear Mr. 
Jobson, thou mirror of clerical courtesy." 

" Good-night, ma'am, and remember the law is not to be trifled 

And we rode on our separate ways. 

" There he goes for a troublesome mischief-making tool," said 
Miss Vernon, as she gave a glance after him ; " it is hard that per- 
sons of birth and rank and estate should be subjected to the official 
impertinence of such a paltry pick-thank as that, merely for believ- 
ing as the whole world believed not much above a hundred years 
ago — for certainly our Catholic faith has the advantage of antiquity 
at least." 

" I was much tempted to have broken the rascal's head," I 

" You would have acted very like a hasty young man," said Miss 
Vernon ; " and yet, had my own hand been an ounce heavier than 
it is, I think should have laid its weight upon him — Well, it does not 
signify complaining, but there are three things for which I am much 
to be pitied, if any one thought it worth while to waste any com- 
passion upon me." 

"And what are these three things. Miss Vernon, may I ask?" 

" Will you promise me your deepest sympathy, if I tell you ? " 

" Certainly ; — can you doubt it ? " I replied, closing my horse 
nearer to hers as I spoke, with an expression of interest which I 
did not attempt to disguise. 

" Well, it is very seducing to be pitied, after all ; so here are my 
three grievances — In the first place, I am a girl, and not a young 
fellow, and would be shut up in a mad-house, if I did half the 

H 2 

ii6 ROB ROY. 

things that I have a mind to ; and that, if I had your happy prero- 
gative of acting as you list, would make all the world mad with 
imitating and applauding me." 

" I can't quite afford you the sympathy you expect upon this 
score," I replied ; " the misfortune is so general, that it belongs to 
one half of the species ; and the other half" — ^— 

"Are so much better cared for, that they are jealous of their 
prerogatives," interrupted Miss Vernon ; " I forgot you were a 
party interested. Nay," said she, as I was going to speak, " that 
soft smile is intended to be the preface of a very pretty compliment 
respecting the peculiar advantages which Die Vernon's friends and 
kinsmen enjoy, by her being born one of their Helots ; but spare me 
the utterance, my good friend, and let us try whether we shall agree 
better on the second count of my indictment against fortune, as 
that quill-driving puppy would call it. I belong to an oppressed 
sect and antiquated religion, and, instead of getting credit for my 
devotion, as is due to all good girls beside, my kind friend. Justice 
Inglewood, may send me to the house of correction, merely for 
worshipping God in the way of my ancestors, and say, as old Pem- 
broke did to the Abbess of Wilton,* when he usurped her convent 
and establishment — ' Go spin, you jade, — Go spin.' " 

" This is not a cureless evil," said I, gravely. " Consult, some of 
our learned divines, or consult your own excellent understanding, 
Miss Vernon ; and surely the particulars in which our religious creed 
differs from that in which you have been educated " 

" Hush ! " said Diana, placing her fore-finger on her mouth, — 
" Hush ! no more of that. Forsake the faith of my gallant fathers ! 
— I would as soon, were I a man, forsake their banner when the 
tide of battle pressed hardest against it, and turn, like a hireling 
recreant, to join the victorious enemy." 

" I honour your spirit. Miss Vernon ; and as to the inconveni- 
ences to which it exposes you, I can only say, that wounds sustained 
for the sake of conscience carry their own balsam with the 

" Ay ; but they are fretful and irritating, for all that. But I see,, 
hard of heart as you are, my chance of beating hemp, or drawing 
out flax into marvellous coarse thread, affects you as little as my 
condemnation to coif and pinners, instead of beaver and cockade ; 
so I will spare myself the fruitless pains of telling my third cause 
of vexation." 

" Nay, my dear Miss Vernon, do not withdraw your confidence, 
and I will promise you, that the threefold sympathy due to your 
very unusual causes of distress shall be aU duly and truly paid to 
account of the third, providing you assure me, that it is one which 

ROB ROY. 117 

you neither share with all womankind, nor even with every Catholic 
in England, who, God bless you, are still a sect more numerous 
than we Protestants, in our zeal for church and state, would desire 
them to be." 

" It is indeed," said Diana, with a manner greatly altered, and 
more serious than I had yet seen her assume, " a misfortune that well 
merits compassion. I am by nature, as you may easily observe, of 
a frank and unreserved disposition — a plain true-hearted-girl, who 
would willingly act openly and honestly by the whole world, and 
yet fate has involved me in such a series of nets, and toils, and en- 
tanglements, that I dare hardly speak a word for fear of con- 
sequences — not to myself, but to others." 

" That is indeed a misfortune, Miss Vernon, which I do most 
sincerely compassionate, but which I should hardly have antici- 

" O, Mr. Osbaldistone, if you but knew- — if any one knew, what 
difficulty I sometimes find in hiding an aching heart with a smooth 
brow, you would indeed pity me. I do wrong, perhaps in speaking 
to you even thus far on my own situation ; but you are a young 
man of sense and penetration — you cannot but long to ask me a 
hundred questions on the events of this day — on the share which 
Rashleigh has in your deliverance from this petty scrape — upon 
many other points which cannot but excite your attention — and I 
cannot bring myself to answer with the necessary falsehood and 
finesse — I should do it awkwardly, and lose your good opinion, if I 
have any share of it, as well as my own. It is best to say at once, 
Ask me no questions, I have it not in my power to reply to them." 

Miss Vernon spoke these words with a tone of feeling which 
could not but make a corresponding impression upon me. I assured 
her that she had neither to fear my urging her with impertinent 
questions, nor my misconstruing her declining to answer those 
which might in themselves be reasonable, or at least natural. 

" I was too much obliged," I said, " by the interest she had taken 
in my affairs, to misuse the opportunity her goodness had afforded 
me of prying into hers — I only trusted and entreated, that if my 
services could at any time be useful, she would command them, 
without doubt or hesitation." 

"Thank you — thank you," she replied; "your voice does not 
ring the cuckoo chime of compliment, but speaks like that of one 
who knows to what he pledges himself. If — but it is impossible — 
but yet, if an opportunity should occur, I will ask you if you 
remember this promise ; and I assure you, I shall not be angry if 
I find you have forgotten it, for it is enough that you are sincere in 
your intentions just now — much may occur to alter them ere I call 


upon you, should that moment ever come, to assist Die Vemon, as 
if you were Die Vernon's brother." 

"And if I were Die Vernon's brother," said I, "there could not 
be less chance that I should refuse my assistance^— And now I am 
afraid I must not ask whether Rashleigh was willingly accessory to 
my deliverance?" 

" Not of me ; but you may ask it of himself, and depend upon it, 
he wiU say yes; for rather than any good action should walk 
through the world like an unappropriated adjective in an ill- 
arranged sentence, he is always willing to stand noun substantive 
to it himself" 

" And I must not ask whether this Campbell be himself the party 
who eased Mr. Morris of his portmanteau, or whether the letter, 
which our friend the attorney received, was not a finesse to with- 
draw him from the scene of action, lest he should have marred the 
happy event of my deliverance ? And I must not ask " 

"You must ask nothing of me," said Miss Vernon; "so it is 
quite in vain to go on putting- cases. You are to think just as well 
of me as if I had answered all these queries, and twenty others 
besides, as glibly as Rashleigh could have done ; and observe, 
whenever I touch my chin jtist so, it is a sign that I cannot speak 
upon the topic which happens to occupy your attention. I must 
settle signals of correspondence with you, because you are to be my 
confidant and my counsellor, only you are to know nothing what- 
ever of my affairs." 

" Nothing can be more reasonable," I replied, laughing ; " and 
the extent of your confidence will, you may rely upon it, only be 
equalled by the sagacity of my counsels." 

This sort of conversation brought us, in the highest good-humour 
with each other, to Osbaldistone-Hall, where we found the family 
far advanced in the revels of the evening. 

" Get some dinner for Mr. Osbaldistone and me in the library." 
said Miss Vernon to a servant. — " I must have some compassion 
upon you," she added, turning to me, " and provide against your 
starving in this mansion of brutal abundance ; otherwise I am not 
sure that I should show you my private haunts. This same library 
is my den — the only corner of the Hall-house where I am safe 
from the Ourang-Outangs, my cousins. They never venture there, 
I suppose, for fear the folios should fall down and crack their 
skulls ; for they will never affect their heads in any other way — So 
follow me.' 

And I followed through hall and bower, vaulted passage and 
winding stair, until we reached the room where she had ordered 
our refreshments. 

ROB ROY. 119 


In the wide pile, by others heeded not, 

Hers was one sacred solitary spot. 

Whose gloomy aisles and bending shelves contain 

For moral hunger food, and cures for moral pain. 


The library at Osbaldistone-Hall was a gloomy room, whose 
antique oaken shelves bent beneath the weight of the ponderous 
folios so dear to the seventeenth century, from which, under favour 
be it spoken, we have distilled matter for our quartos and octavos, 
and which, once more subjected to the alembic, may, should our 
sons be yet more frivolous than ourselves, be still farther reduced 
into duodecimos and pamphlets. The collection was chiefly of the 
classics, as well foreign as ancient history, and, above all, divinity. 
It was in wretched order. The priests, who in succession had 
acted as chaplains at the Hall, were, for many years, the only 
persons who entered its precincts, until Rashleigh's thirst for 
reading had led him to disturb the venerable spiders, who had 
muffled the fronts of the presses with their tapestry. His destina- 
tion for the church rendered his conduct less absurd in his father's 
eyes, than if any of his other descendants had betrayed so strange 
a propensity, and Sir Hildebrand acquiesced in the library 
receiving some repairs, so as to fit it for a sitting room. Still an 
air of dilapidation, as obvious as it was uncomfortable, pervaded 
the large apartment, and announced the neglect from which the 
knowledge which its walls contained had not been able to exempt 
it. The tattered tapestry, the worm-eaten shelves, the huge and 
clumsy, yet tottering, tables, desks, and chairs, the rusty grate, 
seldom gladdened by either sea-coal or faggots, intimated the con- 
tempt of the lords of Osbaldistone-Hall for learning, and for the 
volumes which record its treasures. 

" You think this place somewhat disconsolate, I suppose ? " said 
Diana, as I glanced my eye round the forlorn apartment ; " but to 
me it seems like a little paradise, for I call it my own, and fear no 
intrusion. Rashleigh was joint proprietor with me, while we were 

" And are you no longer so ? " was my natural question. 

Her fore-finger immediately touched her dimpled chin, with an 
arch look of prohibition. 

"We are still allies" she continued, "bound, like other con- 
federate powers, by circumstances of mutual interest ; but I am 
afraid, as will happen in other cases, the treaty of alliance has 

120 ROB ROY. 

survived the amicable dispositions in which it had its origin. At 
any rate, we live less together ; and when he comes through that 
door there, I vanish through this door here ; and so, having made 
the discovery that we two were one too many for this apartment, 
as large as it seems, Rashleigh, whose occasions frequently call 
him elsewhere, has generously made a cession of his rights in my 
favour ; so that I now endeavour to prosecute alone the studies in 
which he used formerly to be my guide." 

" And what are those studies, if I may presume to ask?" 

" Indeed you may, without the least fear of seeing my fore-finger 
raised to my chin. Science and history are my principal favourites ; 
but I also study poetry and the classics." 

"And the classics .■' Do you read them in the original ? " 

" Unquestionably ; Rashleigh, who is no contemptible scholar, 
taught me Greek and Latin, as well as most of the languages of 
modem Europe. I assure you, there has been some pains taken 
in my education, although I can neither sew a tucker, nor work 
cross-stitch, nor make a pudding, nor, as the vicar's fat wift, with 
as much truth as elegance, good-will, and politeness, was pleased 
to say in my behalf, do any other useful thing in the varsal world." 

" And was this selection of studies Rashleigh's choice, or your 
own. Miss Vernon ? " I asked. 

" Um ! " said she, as if hesitating to answer my question, — " it's 
not worth while lifting my finger about, after all — Why, partly his, 
and partly mine. As I learned out of doors to ride a horse, and 
bridle and saddle him in case of necessity, and to clear a five- 
barred gate, and fire a gun without winking, and all other of those 
masculine accomplishments that my brute cousins run mad after, I 
wanted, like my rational cousin, to read Greek and Latin within 
doors, and make my complete approach to the tree of knowledge, 
which you men-scholars would engross to yourselves, in revenge, I 
suppose, for our common mother's share in the great original 
transgression." , 

" And Rashleigh readily indulged your propensity to learning ? " 

" Why, he wished to have me for his scholar, and he could but 
teach me that which he knew himself — he was not likely to instruct 
me in the mysteries of washing lace-ruffles, or hemming cambric- 
handkerchiefs, I suppose." 

" I admit the temptation of getting such a scholar, and have no 
doubt that it mjde a weighty consideration on the tutor's part." 

" O, if you begin to investigate Rashleigh's motives, my finger 
touches my chin once more. I can only be frank where my own 
are inquired into. But to resume — he has resigned the library in 
my favour, and never enters without leave had and obtained ; and 

ROB ROY. i« 

SO I have taken the Hberty to make it the place of deposit for some 
of my own goods and chattels, as you may see by looking round 

" I beg pardon, Miss Vernon, but I really see nothing around 
these walls which I can distinguish as likely to claim you as mis- 

"That is, I suppose, because you neither see a shepherd or 
shepherdess wrought in worsted, and handsomely framed in black 
ebony, — or a stuffed parrot, — or a breeding-cage, full of canary- 
birds, — or a house-wife case, broidered with tarnished silver,— or a 
toilette table with a nest of japanned boxes, with as many angles as 
Christmas minced-pies, — or a broken-backed spinet, — or a lute 
with three strings, — or rock-work, — or shell-work,— or, needle-work, 
or work of any kind, — or a lap-dog with a litter of blind puppies — 
None of these treasures do I possess," she continued, after a pause, 
in order to recover the breath she had lost in enumerating them — 
" But there stands the sword of my ancestor Sir Richard Vernon, 
slain at Shrewsbury, and sorely slandered by a sad fellow called 
Will Shakspeare, whose Lancastrian partialities, and a certain 
knack at embodying them, has turned history upside down, or 
rather inside out ; — and by that redoubted, weapon hangs the mail 
of the still older Vernon, squire to the Black Prince, whose fate is 
the reverse of his descendant's, since he is more indebted to the 
bard who took the trouble to celebrate him, for good-will than for 
talents, — 

' Amiddes the route you might discern one 
Brave knight, with pipes on shield, ycleped Vernon ; 
Like a borne fiend along the plain he thundered, 
Prest to be carving throtes, while others plundered.' 

Then there is a model of a new martingale which I invented my- 
self — a great improvement on the Duke of Newcastle's ; and there 
are the hood and bells of my falcon Cheviot, who spitted himself on 
a heron's bill at Horsely-moss — poor Cheviot, there is not a bird 
on the perches below, but are kites and riflers compared to him ; 
and there is my own light fowling-piece, with an improved fire- 
lock ; with twenty other treasures, each more valuable than another 
— And there, that speaks for itself." 

She pointed to the carved oak-frame of a full-length portrait by 
Vandyke, on which were inscribed, in Gothic letters, the words 
Vernon semper viret. I looked at her for explanation. — " Do you 
not know," said she, with some surprise, " our motto — the Vernon 
motto, where, 

' Like the solemn vice. Iniquity, 
We moralize two meanings in one word?^ 

122 ROB ROY. 

And do you not know our cognizance, the pipes ? " pointing to the 
armorial bearings sculptured on the oaken scutcheon, around which 
the legend was displayed. 

" Pipes ! — they look more like penny-whistles — But, pray, do not 
be angry with my ignorance," I continued, observing the colour 
mount to her cheeks, " I can mean no affront to your armorial 
bearings, for I do not even know my o«im." 

" You an Osbaldistone, and confess so much ! " she exclaimed. 
"Why, Percie, Thornie, John, Dickon— Wilfred himself, might be 
your instructor. Even ignorance itself is a plummet over you." 

"With shame I confess it, my dear Miss Vernon, the mysteries 
couched under the grim hieroglyphics of heraldry are to me as 
unintelligible as those of the pyramids of Egypt." 

" What ! is it possible ? — Why, even my uncle reads Gwillym 
sometimes of a winter night — Not know the figures of heraldry ! — 
of what could your father be thinking ? " 

"Of the figures of arithmetic," I answered ; " the most insignificant 
unit of which he holds more highly than all the blazonry of chivalry. 
But, though I am ignorant to this inexpressible degree, I have 
knowledge and taste enough to admire this splendid picture, in 
which I think I can discover a family likeness to you. What ease 
and dignity in the attitude ! — what richness of colouring — what 
breadth and depth of shade ! " 

" Is it really a fine painting ?" she asked. 

" I have seen many works of the renowned artist," I replied, 
" but never beheld one more to my liking." 

"Well, I know as little of pictures as you do of heraldry," replied 
Miss Vernon ; "yet I have the advantage of you, because I have 
always admired the painting without understanding its value." 

" While I have neglected pipes and tabors, and all the whimsical 
combinations of chivalry, still I am informed that they floated in 
the fields of ancient fame. But you will allow their exterior ap- 
pearance is not so peculiarly interesting to the uninformed spec- 
tator as that of a fine painting. — Who is the person here repre- 

" My grandfather. He shared the misfortunes of Charles I., 
and, I am sorry to add, the excesses of his son. Our patrimonial 
estate was greatly impaired by his prodigality, and was altogether 
lost by his successor, my unfortunate father. But peace be with 
them who have got it ! — it was lost in the cause of loyalty." 

" Your father, I presume, suffered in the political dissensions of 
the period ? " 

" He did indeed ; he lost his all. And hence is his child a 
dependent orphan ; eating the bread of others, subjected to their 

ROB ROY. 123 

caprices, and compelled to study their inclinations ; Yet prouder of 
having had such a father, than if, playing a more prudent but less 
upright part, he had left me possessor of all the rich and fair 
baronies which his family once possessed." 

As she thus spoke, the entrance of the servants with dinner cut 
off all conversation but that of a general nature. 

When our hasty meal was concluded, and the wine placed on 
the table, the domestic informed us, "that Mr. Rashleigh had 
desired to be told when our dinner was removed." 

" Tell him," said Miss Vernon, " we shall be happy to see him if 
he will step this way — place another wine-glass and chair, and 
leave the room. — You must retire with him when he goes away," 
she continued, addressing herself to me ; " even my liberality 
cannot spare a gentleman above eight hours out of the twenty- 
four ; and I think we have been together for at least that length of 

" The old scytheman has moved so rapidly," I answered, " that 
I could not count his strides." . 

" Hush !" said Miss Vernon, "here comes Rashleigh ; " and she 
drew off her chair, to which I had approached mine rather closely, 
so as to place a greater distance between us. 

A modest tap at the door, — a gentle manner of opening when 
invited to enter, — a studied softness and humility of step and deport- 
ment, announced that the education of Rashleigh Osbaldistone at 
the College of St. Omers accorded well with the ideas I entertained of 
the manners of an accomplished Jesuit. I need not add, that, as a 
sound Protestant, these ideas were not the most favourable. " Why 
should you use the ceremony of knocking," said Miss Vernon, 
" when you knew that I was not alone ? " 

This was spoken with a burst of impatience, as if she had felt that 
Rashleigh's air of caution and reserve covered some insinuation of 
impertinent suspicion. " You have taught me the farm of knocking 
at this door so perfectly, my fair cousin," answered Rashleigh, 
without change of voice or manner, " that habit has become a 
second nature." 

" I prize sincerity more than courtesy, sir, and you know I do," 
was Miss Vernon's reply. 

" Courtesy is a gallant gay, a courtier by name and by profes- 
sion," replied Rashleigh, " and therefore most fit for a lady's 

" But Sincerity is the true knight," retorted Miss Vernon, " and 
therefore much more welcome, cousin. But, to end a debate not 
over aniusing to your stranger kinsman, sit down, Rashleigh, and 
give Mr. Francis Osbaldistone your countenance to his glass of 

124 ROB ROY. 

wine. I have done the honours of the dinner, for the credit of 

Rashleigh sate down, and filled his glass, glancing from Diana 
to me, with an embarrassment which his utmost efforts could not 
entirely disguise. I thought he appeared to be uncertain con- 
cerning the extent of confidence she might have reposed in me, 
and hastened to lead the conversation intcJ a channel which should 
sweep away his suspicion that Diana might have betrayed any 
secrets which rested between them. " Miss Vernon," I said, 
" Mr. Rashleigh, has recommended me to return my thanks to you 
for my speedy disengagement from the ridiculous accusation of 
Morris ; and, unjustly fearing my gratitude might not be warm 
enough to remind me of this duty, she has put my curiosity on its 
side, by referring me to you for an account, or rather explanation, 
of the events of the day." 

"Indeed!" answered Rashleigh; "I should have thought" 
(looking keenly at Miss Vernon), " that the lady herself might 
have stood interpreter ; " and his eye, reverting from her face, 
sought mine, as if to search, from the expression of my features, 
whether Diana's communication had been as narrowly limited as 
my words had intimated. Miss Vernon retorted his inquisitorial 
glance with one of decided scorn ; while I, uncertain whether to 
deprecate or resent his obvious suspicion, replied, " If it is your 
pleasure, Mr. Rashleigh, as it has been Miss Vernon's, to leave me 
in ignorance, I must necessarily submit ; but pray do not with- 
hold your information from me, on the ground of imagining that I 
have already obtained any on the subject. For I tell you as a 
man of honour, I am as ignorant as that picture of anything re- 
lating to the events I have witnessed to-day, excepting that I 
understand from Miss Vernon, that you have been kindly active in 
my favour." 

" Miss Vernon has overrated my humble efforts," said Rash- 
leigh, " though I claim full credit for my zeal. The truth is, that 
as I galloped back to get some one of our family to join me in 
becoming your bail, which was the most obvious, or, indeed, I 
may say, the only way of serving you which occurred to my stupidity, 
I met the man Cawmil — Colvillei— Campbell, or whatsoever they 
call him. I had understood from Morris, that he was present when 
the robbery took place, and had the good fortune to prevail on 
him (with some difficulty, I confess) to tender his evidence in your 
exculpation, which I presume was the means of your being released 
from an unpleasant situation." 

" Indeed ? — I am much your debtor for procuring such a season- 
able evidence in my behalf. But I cannot see why (having been, 


as he said, a fellow-sufferer with Morris), it should have required 
much trouble to persuade him to step forth and bear evidence, 
whether to convict the actual robber, or free an innocent person." 

" You do not know the genius of that man's country, sir," an- 
swered Rashleigh ; " discretion, prudence, and foresight, are their 
leading qualities ; these are only modified by a narrow-spirited, 
but yet ardent patriotism, which forms as it were the outmost of 
the concentric bulwarks with which a Scotchman fortifies himself 
against all the attacks of a generous philanthropical principle. 
Surmount this mound, you find an inner and still dearer barrier — 
the love of his province, his village, or, most probably, his clan ; 
storm this second obstacle, you have a third — his attachment to 
his own family — his father, mother, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, 
and cousins, to the ninth generation. It is within these limits that 
a Scotchman's social affection expands itself, never reaching those 
which are outermost, till all means of discharging itself in the inte- 
rior circles have been exhausted. It is withiji these circles that his 
heart throbs, each pulsation being fainter and fainter, till beyond 
the widest boundary, it is almost unfelt. And what is worst of all, 
could you surmount all these concentric outworks, you have an 
inner citadel, deeper, higher, and more efficient than them all — a 
Scotchman's love for himself." 

" All this is extremely eloquent and metaphorical, Rashleigh," 
said Miss -Vernon, who listened with unrepressed impatience ; 
" there are only two objections to it : first, it is not true; secondly, 
if true, it is nothing to the purpose." 

" It is true, my fairest Diana," returned Rashleigh ; and more- 
over, it is most instantly to the purpose. It is true, because you 
cannot deny that I know the country and people intimately, and 
the character is drawn from deep and accurate consideration ; and 
it is to the purpose, because it answers Mr. Francis Osbaldistone's 
question, and shows why this same wary Scotchman, considering 
our kinsman to be neither his countryman nor a Campbell, nor his 
cousin in any of the inextricable combinations by which they 
extend their pedigree ; and, above aU, seeing no "prospect of per- 
sonal advantage, but, on the contrary, much hazard of loss of time 
and delay of business " 

" With other inconveniences, perhaps, of a nature yet more 
formidable," interrupted Miss Vernon. 

" Of which, doubtless, there might be many," said Rashleigh, 
continuing in the Same tone — "In short, my theory shows why this 
man, hoping for no advantage, and afraid of some inconvenience, 
might require a degree of persuasion ere he could be prevailed on 
to give his testimony in favour of Mr. Osbaldistone." 

126 ROB ROY. 

" It seems surprising to me," I observed, " that during the glance 
I cast over the declaration, or whatever it is termed, of Mr. Morris, 
he should never have mentioned that Campbell was in his com- 
pany when he met the marauders." 

" I understood from Campbell, that he had taken his solemn pro- 
mise not to mention that circumstance," replied Rashleigh : "his 
reason for exacting such an engagement you may guess from what 
I have hinted— he wished to get back to his own country, un- 
delayed and unembarrassed by any of the judicial inquiries which 
he would have been under the necessity of attending, had the fact 
of his being present at the robbery taken air while he was on this 
side of the Border. But let him once be as distant as the Forth, 
Morris will, I warrant you, come forth with all he knows about 
him, and, it may be, a good deal more. Besides, Campbell is a 
very extensive dealer in cattle, and has often occasion to send great 
droves into Northumberland ; and, when driving such a trade, he 
would be a great fool to embroil himself with our Northumbrian 
thieves, than whom no men who live are more vindictive." 

" I dare be sworn of that," said Miss Vernon, with a tone which 
.implied something more than a simple acquiescence in the pro- 

" Still," said 1, resuming the subject, " allowing the force of the 
reasons which Campbell might have for desiring that Morris should 
be silent with regard to his promise when the robbery was com- 
mitted, I cannot yet see how he could attain such an influence over 
the man, as to make him suppress his evidence in that particular, 
at the manifest risk of subjecting his story to discredit." 

Rashleigh agreed with me, that it was very extraordinary, and 
seemed to regret that he had not questioned the Scotchman more 
closely on that subject, which he allowed looked extremely myste- 
rious. " But," he asked, immediately after this acquiescence, " are 
you very sure the circumstance of Morris's being accompanied by 
Campbell is really not alluded to in his examination ? " 

" I read the paper over hastily," said I ; " but it is my strong 
impression that no such circumstance is mentioned ; at least, it 
must have been touched on very slightly, since it failed to catch 
my attention." 

" True, true," answered Rashleigh, forming his own inference 
while he adopted my words ; " I incline to think .with you, that the 
circumstance must in reality have been mentioned, but so slightly 
that it failed to attract your attention. And then, as to Campbell's 
interest with Morris, I incline to suppose that it must have been 
gained by playing upon his fears. This chicken-hearted fellow, 
Morris, is bound, I understand, for Scotland, destined for some 

ROB ROY. 127 

little employment under Government ; and, possessing the courage 
of the wrathful dove, or most magnanimous mouse, he may have 
been afraid to encounter the ill-will of such a kill-cow as Campbell, 
whose very appearance would be enough to fright him out of his 
little wits. You observed that Mr. Campbell has at times a keen 
and animated manner — something of a martial cast in his tone and 

" I own," I replied, " that his expression struck me as being 
occasionally fierce and sinister, and little adapted to his peaceable 
professions. Has he served in the army?" 

"Yes — no — rnot, strictly speaking, served; but he has been, I 
believe, like most of his countrymen, trained to arms. Indeed, 
among the hills, they carry them from boyhood to the grave. So, 
if you know anything of your fellow-traveller, you will easily judge, 
that, going to such a country, he will take care to avoid a quarrel, 
if he can help it, with any of the natives. — But, come, I see you 
decline your wine — and I too am a degenerate Osbaldistone, so far 
as respects the circulation of the bottle. If you will go to my 
room, I will hold you a hand at piquet." 

We rose to take leave of Miss Vernon, who had from time to 
time suppressed, apparently with difficulty, a strong temptation to 
break in upon Rashleigh's details. As we were about to leave the 
room, the smothered fire broke forth. 

" Mr. Osbaldistone," she said, " your own observation will enable 
you to verify the justice, or injustice, of Rashleigh's suggestions 
concerning such individuals as Mr. Campbell and Mr. Morris. 
But, in slandering Scotl'and, he has borne false witness against 
a whole country ; and I request you will allow no weight to his 

" Perhaps," I answered, " I may find it somewhat difficult to obey 
your injunction. Miss Vernon ; for I must own I was bred up with 
no very favourable idea of our northern neighbours." 

" Distrust that part of your education, sir," she replied, " and let 
the daughter of a Scotchwoman pray you to respect the land which 
gave her parent birth, until your own, observation has proved them 
to be unworthy of your good opinion. Preserve your hatred and 
contempt for dissimulatiop, baseness, and falsehood, wheresoever 
they are to be met with. You will find enough of aU without leaving 
England. — Adieu, gentlemen, — I wish you good evening." 

And she signed to the door, with the manner of a princess dis- 
missing her train. 

We retired to Rashleigh's apartment, where a servant brought us 
coffee and cards. I had formed my resolution to press Rashleigh 
no farther on the events of the day. A mystery, and, as I thought, 

128 ROB ROY. 

not a favourable complexion, appeared to hang over his conduct; 
but to ascertain if my suspicions were just, it was necessary to 
throjv him off his guard. We cut for the deal, and were soon 
earnestly engaged in our play. I thought I perceived in this trifling 
for amusement (for the stake which Rashleigh proposed was a 
mere trifle) something of a fierce and ambitious temper. He 
seemed perfectly to understand the beautiful game at which he 
played, but preferred, as it were on principle, the risking bold and 
precarious strokes to the ordinary rules of play ; and neglecting 
the minor and better-balanced chances of the game, he hazarded 
everything for the chance of piqueing, repiqueing, or capoting his 
adversary. So soon as the intervention of a game or two at piquet, 
like the music between the acts of a drama, had completely inter- 
rupted our previous course of conversation, Rashleigh appeared to 
tire of the game, and the cards were superseded by discourse, in 
which he assumed the lead. 

More learned than soundly wise — ^better acquainted with men's 
minds than with the moral principles that ought to regulate them, 
he had still powers of conversation which I have rarely seen 
equalled, never excelled. Of this his manner implied some con- 
sciousness ; at least, it appeared to me that he had studied hard to 
improve his natural advantages of a melodious voice, fluent and 
happy expression, apt language, and fervid imagination. He was 
never loud, never overbearing, never so much occupied with his 
own thoughts as to outrun either the patience or the comprehension 
of those he conversed with. His ideas succeeded each other with 
the gentle but unintermitting flow of a plentiful and bounteous 
spring ; while I have heard those of others, who aimed at dis- 
tinction in conversation, rush along like the turbid gush from the 
sluice of a mill-pond, as hurried, and as easily exhausted. It was 
late at night ere I could part from a companion so fascinating; 
and, when I gained my own apartment, it cost me no small effort 
to recall to my mind the character of Rashleigh, such as I had 
pictured him previous to this t6te-k-t6te. 

So effectual, my dear Tresham, does the sense of being pleased 
and amused blunt our faculties of perception and discrimination of 
character, that I can only compare it to the taste of certain fruits, 
at once luscious and poignant, irtiich renders our palate totally 
imfit for relishing or distinguishing the viands which are subse- 
quently subjected to its criticism. 



What gars ye gaunt, my merrymen a' ? 

What gars ye look sae dreary? 
What gars ye hing your head sae sair 

In the castle of Balwearie ? 

Old Scotch Ballad. 

The next morning chanced to be Sunday, a day peculiarly hard 
to be got rid of at Osbaldistone-Hall; for after the formal religious 
service of the morning had been performed, at which all the family 
regularly attended, it was hard to say upon which individual, Rash- 
leigh and Miss Vernon excepted, the fiend of ennui descended 
with the most abundant outpouring of his spirit. To speak of my 
yesterday's embarrassment amused Sir Hildebrand for sever'al 
minutes, and he congratulated me on my deliverance from Mor- 
peth or Hexham jail, as he would have done if I had fallen in 
attempting to clear a five-barred gate, and got up without hurting 

" Hast had a lucky turn, lad ; but do na be over venturous 
again. What, man ! the king's road is free to all men, be they 
Whigs, be they Tories." 

" On my word, sir, I am innocent of interrupting it ; and it is 
the most provoking thing on earth, that every person will take it 
for granted that I am accessory to a crime which I despise and 
detest, and which would, moreover, deservedly forfeit my life to the 
laws of my country." 

" Well, well, lad J even so be it; I ask no questions — no man 
bound to tell on himsell — that's fair play, or the devil's in 't." 

Rashleigh here came to my assistance; but I could not help 
' thinking that his arguments were calculated rather as hints to his 
father to put on a show of acquiescence in my declaration of 
innocence, than fully to establish it. 

" In your own house, my dear sir — and your own nephew — you 
will not surely persist in hurting his feelings, by seeming to dis- 
credit what he is so strongly interested in affirming. No doubt, 
you are fully deserving of all his confidence, and I am sure, were 
there anything you could do to assist him in this strange affair, he 
would have recourse to your goodness. But my cousin Frank has 
been dismissed as an innocent man, and no one is entitled to sup- 
pose him otherwise. For my part, I have not the least doubt of 
his innocence; and our family honour, I conceive, requires that 
we should maintain it with tongue and sword against the whole 


130 ROB ROY. 

" Rashleigh," said his father, looking fixedly at him, "thou art a 
sly loon^thou hast ever been too cunning for me, and too cunning 
for most folks. Have a care thou provena too cunning for thysell 
~— two faces under one hood is no true heraldry. And since we talk 
of heraldry, I'll go and read Gwillym." 

This resolution he intimated with a yawn, resistless as that of 
the goddess in the Dunciad, which was responsiv^y echoed by 
his giant sons, as they dispersed in quest of the pastimes to which 
their minds severally inclined them — Percie to discuss a pot of 
March beer with the steward in the buttery, — Thorncliff to cut a 
pair of cudgels, and fix them in their wicker hilts, — John to dress 
May-flies, — Dickon to play at pitch and toss by himself, his right 
hand against his left, — and Wilfred to bite his thumbs, and hum 
himself into a slumber which should last till dinner-time, if pos- 
sible. Miss Vernon had retired to the library. 

Rashleigh and I were left alone in the old hall, from which the 
servants, with their usual bustle and awkwardness, had at length 
contrived to hurry the remains of our substantial brealdast. I 
took the opportunity to upbraid him with the manner in which he 
had spoken of my affair to his father, which I frankly stated was 
highly offensive to me, as it seemed rather to exhort Sir Hildebrand 
to conceal his suspicions, than to root them out." 

" Why, what can I do, my dear friend ? " replied Rashleigh : 
" my father's disposition is so tenacious of suspicions of all kinds, 
when once they take root (which, to do him justice, does not easily 
happen), that I have always found it the best way to silence him 
upon such subjects, instead of arguing with him. Thus I get the 
better of the weeds which I cannot eradicate, by cutting them over 
as often as they appear, until at length they die away of them- 
selves. There is neither wisdom nor profit in disputing with such 
a mind as Sir Hildebrand's, which hardens itself against con- 
viction, and believes in its own inspirations as firmly as we good 
Cathohcs do in those of the Holy Father of Rome." 

" It is very hard, though, that I should live in the house of a 
man, and he a near relation too, who will persist in believing me 
guilty of a highway robbery." 

" My father's foolish opinion, if one may give that epithet to any 
opinion of a father's, does not affect your real innocence ; and 3,3 
to the disgrace of the fact, depend on it, that, considered in all its 
bearings, political as well as moral. Sir Hildebrand regards it as a 
meritorious action— a weakening of the enemy — a spoiliijg of the 
Aroalekites ; and you wiU stand the higher in his regard for your 
supposed accession to it." 

" I desire no man's regard, Mr. Rashleigh, on such terms as 

ROB ROY. 131 

must sink me in my own ; and I think these injurious suspicions 
will afford a very good reason for quitting Osbaldistone-Hall, 
which I shall do whenever I can communicate on the subject with 
my father." 

The dark countenance of Rashleigh, though little accustomed to 
betray its master's feelings, exhibited a suppressed smile, which he 
instantly chastened by a sigh. 

" You are a happy man, Frank — you go and come, as the wind 
bloweth where it listeth. With your address, taste, and talents, 
you will soon find circles where they will be more valued, than 
amid the dull inmates of this mansion ; while I " He paused. 

"And what is there in your lot that can make you or any one 
envy mine, — an outcast, as I may almost term myself, from my 
father's house and favour ?" . 

" Ay, but," answered Rashleigh, " consider the gratified sense of 
independence which you must have attained by a very temporary 
sacrifice, for such I am sure yours will prove to be ; — consider the 
power of acting as a free agent, of cultivating your own talents in 
the way to which your taste determines you, and in which you are 
v/ell qualified to distinguish yourself. — Fame and freedom are 
cheaply purchased by a few weeks' residence in the North, even 
though your place of exile be Osbaldistone-Hall. — A second Ovid 
in Thrace, you have not his reasons for writing Tristia." 

" I do not know," said I,, blushing as became a young scribbler, 
" how you should be so well acquainted with my truant studies." 

" There was an emissary of your father's here sometime since, a 
young coxcomb, one Twineall, who informed me concerning your 
secret sacrifices to the muses, and added, that some of your verses 
had been greatly admired by the best judges." 

Tresham, I believe you are guiltless of having ever essayed to 
build the lofty rhyme ; but you must have known in your day mahy 
an apprentice and fellow-craft, if not some of the master-masons, 
in the temple of Apollo. Vanity is their universal foible, from him 
who decorated the shades of Twickenham, to the veriest scribbler 
whom he has lashed in his Dunciad. I had my own share of this 
common failing, and without considering how little likely this young 
fellow Twineall was, by taste and habits, either to be acquainted 
with one or two little pieces of poetry, which I had at times in- 
sinuated into Button's coffee-house, or to report the opinion of the 
critics who frequented that resort of wit and literature, I almost 
instantly gorged the bait; which Rashleigh preceiving, improved 
his opportunity by a diffident, yet apparently very anxious request, 
to be permitted to see some of my manuscript productions. 

" You shall give me an evening in my own apartment," he con- 

I 2 

132 ROB ROY. 

tiniied; "for I must soon lose the charms of literary society for 
the drudgery of commerce, and the coarse every-day avocations of 
the world. I repeat it, that my compliance with my father's wishes 
for the advantage of my family, is indeed a sacrifice, especially 
considering the calm and peaceful profession to which my education 
destined me." 

I was vain, but not a fool, and this hypocrisy was too strong for 
me to swallow. — " You would not persuade me," I replied, " that ■ 
you really regret to exchange the situation of an obscure Catholic 
priest, with all its privations, for wealth and society, and the 
pleasures of the world ? " 

Rashleigh saw that he had coloured his affectation of moderation 
too highly, and, after a second's pause, during which, I suppose, he 
calculated the degree of candour which it was necessary to use 
with me (that being a quality of which he was never needlessly pro- 
fuse), he answered with a smile — " At my age, to be condemned, as, 
you say, to wealth and the world, does not, indeed, sound so alarm- 
ing as perhaps it ought to do. But, with pardon be it spoken, you 
have mistaken my destination — a Catholic priest, if you will, but 
not an obscure one. — No, sir, Rashleigh Osbaldistone will be more 
obscure, should he rise to be the richest citizen in London, than he 
might have been as a member of a church, whose ministers, as 
some one says, ' set their sandall'd feet on princes.' — My family 
interest at a certain exiled court is high, and the weight which that 
court ought to possess, and does possess, at Rome, is yet higher — 
my talents not altogether inferior to the education I have received. 
In sober judgment, I might have looked forward to high eminence 
in the church — in the dream of fancy, to the very highest. Why 
might not " (he added, laughing, for it was part of his manner to 
keep much of his discourse apparently betwixt jest and earnest) — 
" why might not Cardinal Osbaldistone have swayed the fortunes 
of empires, well-born and well-connected, as well as the low-born 
Mazarin, or Alberoni, the son of an Italian gardener ? " 

" Nay, I can give you no reason to the contrary ; but in your 
place I should not much regret losing the chance of such 'pre- 
carious and invidious elevation." 

"Neither would I," he replied, "were I sure that my present 
establishment was more certain ; but that must depend upon cir- 
cumstances which I can only learn by experience — the disposition 
of your father, for example." 

" Confess the truth without finesse, Rashleigh ; you would will- 
ingly know something of him from me ? " 

" Since, like Die Vernon, you make a point of following the 
banner of the good knight Sincerity, I reply—certainly." 

ROB ROY. 133 

" Well, then, you will find in my father a man who has followed 
the paths of thriving more for the exercise they afforded to his 
talents, than for the love of the gold with which they are strewed. 
His active mind would have been happy in any situation which 
gave it scope for exertion, though that exertion had been its sole 
reward. But his wealth has accumulated, because, moderate and 
frugal in his habits, no new sources of expense have occurred to 
dispose of his increasing income. He is a man who hates dissimu- 
lation in others ; never practises it himself ; and is peculiarly alert 
in discovering motives through the colouring of language. Himself 
silent by habit, he is readily disgusted by great talkers ; the rather, 
that the circumstances by which he is most interested afford no 
great scope for conversation. He is severely strict in the duties of 
religion ; but you have no reason to fear his interference with yours, 
for he regards toleration as a sacred principle of political economy. 
But if you have any Jacobitical partialities, as is naturally to be 
supposed, you will do well to suppress them in his presence, as well 
as the least tendency to the highflying or Tory principles ; for he 
holds both in utter detestation. For the rest, his word is his own 
bond, and must be the law of all who act under him. He will fail 
in his duty to no one, and will permit no one to fail towards him ; 
to cultivate his favour, you must execute his commands, instead of 
echoing his sentiments. His greatest failings arise out of preju- 
dices connected with his own profession, or rather his exclusive 
devotion to it, which makes him see little worthy of praise or at- 
tention, unless it be in some measure connected with commerce." 

" O rare-painted portrait ! " exclaimed Rashleigh, when I was 
silent — " Vandyke was a dauber to you, Frank. I see thy sire be- 
fore me in all his strength and weakness ; loving and honouring the 
King as a sort of lord mayor of the empire, or chief of the board 
of trade — venerating the Commons, for the acts regulating the ex- 
port trade — and respecting the Peers, because the Lord Chancellor 
sits on a woolsack." 

" Mine was a likeness, Rashleigh ; yours is a caricature. But in 
return for the carte du pays which I have unfolded to you, give me 
some lights on the geography of the unknown lands " 

" On which you are wrecked," said Rashleigh. " It is not worth 
while ; it is no Isle of Calypso, umbrageous with shade and intri- 
cate with silvan labyrinth — but a bare ragged Northumbrian moor, 
with as little to interest curiosity as to delight the eye — ^you may 
descry it in all its nakedness in half an hour's survey, as well as if 
I were to lay it down before you by line and compass." 

" O, but something there is, worthy a more attentive survey — 
What say you to Miss Vernon ? Does not she form an interesting 

134 ROB ROY. 

object in the landscape, were all around as rude as Iceland's 
coast ? " 

I could plainly perceive that Rashleigh disliked the topic now 
presented to him ; but my frank communication had given me the 
advantageous title to make inquiries in my turn. Rashleigh felt 
this, and found himself obhged to follow my lead, however difficult 
he might find it to play his cards successfully. " I have known less 
of Miss Vernon," he said, " for some time, than I was wont to do 
formerly. In early age I was her tutor ; but as she advanced to- 
wards womanhood, my various avocations, — the gravity of the pro- 
fession to which I was destined,' — the peculiar nature of her en- 
gagements, — our mutual situation, in short, rendered a close and 
constant intimacy dangerous and improper. I believe Miss Vernon 
might consider my reserve as unkindness, but it was my duty ; I 
felt as much as she seemed to do, when compelled to give way to 
prudence. But where was the safety in cultivating an intimacy 
with a beautiful and susceptible girl, whose heart, you are aware, 
must be given either to the cloister or to a betrothed husband ? " 

" The cloister or a betrothed husband ? " I echoed — " Is that the 
alternative destined for Miss Vernon ? " 

" It is indeed," said Rashleigh, with a sigh. " I need not, I sup- 
pose, caution you against the danger of cultivating too closely the 
friendship of Miss Vernon ; you are a man of the world, and know 
how far you can indulge yourself in her society, with safety to your- 
self and justice to her. But I warn you, that, considering her ardent 
temper, you must let your experience keep guard over her as well , 
as yourself, for the specimen of yesterday may serve to show her 
extreme thoughtlessness and neglect of decorum." 

There was something, I was sensible, of truth, as well as good 
sense in all this ; it seemed to be given as a friendly warning, and 
I had no right to take it amiss ; yet I felt 1 could with pleasure 
have run Rashleigh Osbaldistone through the body all the time he 
was speaking. 

" The deuce take his insolence ! " was my internal meditation. 
" Would he wish me to infer that Miss Vernon had fallen in love 
with that hatchet-face of his, and become degraded so low as to re- 
quire his shyness to cure her of an imprudent passion ? 1 will 
have his meaning fiom him," was my resolution, "if I should drag 
it out with cart-ropes." 

For this purpose, I placed my temper under as accurate a guard 
as I could,'and observed, " That, for a lady of her good sense and 
acquired accomplishments, it was to be regretted that Miss Ver- 
non's manners were rather blunt and rustic." 

" Frank and unreserved, at least, to the extreme," replied Rash- 

ROB ROY. 13s 

leigh ; " yet, trust me, she has an excellent heart. To tell you the 
truth, should she continue her extreme aversion to the cloister, and 
to her destined husband, and should my own labours in the mine of 
Plutus promise to secure me a decent independence, I shall think 
of renewing our acquaintance, and sharing it with Miss Vernon." 

" With all his fine voice, and well-turned periods," thought I, 
" this same Rashleigh Osbaldistone is the ugliest and most con- 
ceited coxcomb I ever met with ! " 

" But," continued Rashleigh, as if thinking aloud, "I should not 
like to supplant Thorncliff." 

" Supplant Thorncliff ! — Is your brother Thorncliff," I inquired, 
with great surprise, " the destined husband of Diana Vernon ? " 

" Why, ay ; her father's commands, and a certain family-contract, 
destine her to marry one of Sir Hildebrand's sons. A dispensa- 
tion has been obtained from Rome to Diana Vernon to marry Blank 
Osbaldistone, Esq. son of Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, of Osbal- 
distone-Hall, Bart., and so forth ; and it only remains to pitch upon 
the happy man whose name shall fill the gap in the manuscript. 
Now, as Percie is seldom sober, my father pitched on Thorncliff, 
as the second prop of the family, and therefore most proper to carry 
on the line of the Osbaldistones." 

" The young lady," said I, forcing myself to assume an air of 
pleasantry, which, I believe, became me extremely ill,"would perhaps 
have been inclined to look a little lower on the family-tree, for the 
branch to which she was desirous of clinging." 

" I cannot say," he replied. " There is room for little choice in 
our family ; Dick is a gambler, John a boor, and Wilfred an ass. 
I believe my father really made the best selection for poor Die, 
after all." 

" The present company," said I, " being always excepted." 

" O, my destination to the church placed me out of the question ; 
otherwise I will not affect to say, that, qualified by my education 
both to instruct and guide Miss Vernon, I might not have been a 
m&re creditable choice than any of my elders." 

" And so thought the young lady, doubtless ? " 

" You are not to suppose so," answered Rashleigh, with an affec- 
tation of denial which was contrived to convey the strongest affir- 
mation the case admitted of : "friendship — only friendship — formed 
the tie betwixt us-, and the tender affection of an opening mind to 
its only instructor — Love came not near us — I told you I was wise 
in time." 

I felt little inclination to pursue this conversation any farther, 
and, shaking myself clear of Rashleigh, withdrew to my own 
apartment, which I recollect I traversed with much vehemence of 

136 ROB ROY. 

agitation, repeating aloud the expressions which had most offended 
me. — " Susceptible— ardent— tender affection— Love !— Diana Ver- 
non, the most beautiful creature I ever beheld, in love with him, 
the bandy-legged, bull-necked, limping scoundrel ! — Richard the 
Third in all but his hump-back ! — And yet the opportunities he 
must have had during his cursed course of lectures ; and the fellow's 
flowing and easy strain of sentiment ; and her extreme seclusion 
from every one who spoke and acted with common sense ; ay, and 
her obvious pique at him, mixed with admiration of his talents, 
which looked as like the result of neglected attachment as anything 
else — ^Well, and what is it to me, that I should storm and rage at 
it .? Is Diana Vernon the first pretty girl that has loved or married 
an ugly fellow? And if she were free of every Osbaldistone of 
them, what concern is it of mine? — A Catholic — a Jacobite — a 
termagant into the boot — for me to look that way were utter 

By throwing such reflections on the flame of my displeasure, I 
subdued it into a sort of smouldering heart-burning, and appeared 
at the dinner-tabfe in as-sulky a humour as could well be imagined. 


Drunk ? — and speak parrot ? — and squabble ? — swagger ? — 
Swear i" — and discourse fustian with one's own shadow. 


I HAVE already told you, my dear Tresham, what probably was 
no news to you, that my principal fault was an unconquerable pitch 
of pride, which exposed me to frequent mortification. I had not 
even whispered to myself, that I loved Diana Vernon ; yet no 
sooner did I hear Rashleigh talk of her as a prize which he might 
stoop to carry off, or neglect, at his pleasure, than every step 
which the poor girl had taken, in the innocence and openness of her 
heart, to form a sort of friendship with me, seemed in my eyes the 
most insulting coquetry. "Soh! she would secure me as a ^ira/Zifr, 
I suppose, in case Mr. Rashleigh Osbaldistone should not take com- 
passion upon her ! but I will satisfy her that I am not a person to 
be trepanned in that manner — I will make her sensible that I see 
through her arts, and that I scorn them." 

I did not reflect for a moment, that all this indignation, which I 
had no right whatever to entertain, proved that I was anything but 
indifferent to Miss Vernon's charms ; and I ,sate down to table in 
high ill-humour with her and all the daughters of Eve. 

Miss Vernon heard me, with surprise, return ungracious answers 

ROB ROY. 137 

to one or two playful strokes of satire which sl->e threw out with 
her usual freedom of speech ; but, having no suspicion that offence 
was meant, she only replied to my rude repartees with jests some- 
what similar, but polished by her good temper, though pointed by 
her wit. At length she perceived 1 was really out of humour, and 
answered one of my rude speeches thus : — 

" They say, Mr. Frank, that one may gather sense from fools — I 
heard cousin Wilfred refuse to play any longer at cudgels the other 
day with cousin Thornie, because cousin Thornie got angry, and 
struck harder than the rules of amicable combat, it seems, per- 
mitted. ' Were I to break your head in good earnest,' quoth 
honest Wilfred, ' I care not how angry you are, for I should do it 
so much the more easily ; — but it's hard I should get raps over 
the costard, — and only pay you back in make-believes' — Do you 
understand the moral of this, Frank ? " 

" I have never felt myself under the necessity, madam, of study- 
ing how to extract the slender portion of sense with which this 
family season their conversation." 

" Necessity ! and madam ! — you surprise me, Mr. Osbaldistone." 

" I am unfortunate in doing so." 

" Am I to suppose that this capricious tone is serious ? or is it 
only assumed, to make your good-humour more valuable ? " 

" You have a right to the attention of so many gentlemen in this 
family. Miss Vernon, that it cannot be worth your while to inquire 
into the cause of my stupidity and bad spirits." 

" What ! " she said, " am I to understand, then, that you have 
deserted my faction, and gone over to the enemy ? " 

Then, looking across the table, and observing that Rashleigh, 
who was seated opposite, was watching us with a singular expres- 
sion of interest on his harsh features, she continued — 

" Horrible thought ! — Ay, now I see 'tis true. 
For the grim-visaged Rashleigh smiles on me, 
And points at thee for his ! 

Well, thank Heaven, and the unprotected state which has taught 
me endurance, I do not take offence easily ; and that I may not 
be forced to quarrel, whether I like it or no, I have the honour, 
earlier than usual, to wish you a happy digestion of your dinner 
and your bad humonr." 

And she left the table accordingly. 

Upon Miss Vernon's departure, I found myself very little satis- 
fied with my own conduct. I had hurled back offered kindness, of 
which circumstances had but lately pointed out the honest sincerity, 
and I had but just stopped short of insulting the beautiful, and, as 

138 ROB ROY. 

she had said with some emphasis, the unprotected being by whom 
it was proffered. My conduct seemed brutal in my own eyes. To 
combat or drown these painful reflections, I applied myself more 
frequently than usual to the wine which circulated on the table. 

The agitated state of my feelings combined with my habits of 
temperance to give rapid effect to the beveragfe. Habitual topers, 
I believe, acquire the power of soaking themselves with a quantity 
of liquor that does little more than muddy those intellects, which 
in their sober state are none of the clearest ; but men who are 
strangers to the vice of drunkenness as a habit, are more power- 
fully acted upon by- intoxicating liquors. My spirits, once aroused, 
became extravagant j I talked a great deal,. argued upon what I 
knew nothing of, told stories of which I forgot the point, -then 
laughed immoderately at my own forgetfulness ; I accepted several 
bets without having the least judgment ; I challenged the giant 
John to wrestle with me, although he had kept the ring at Hexham 
for a year, and I never tried so much as a single fall. 

My uncle had the goodness to interpose and prevent this con- 
summation of drunken folly, which, I suppose, would have other- 
wise ended in my neck being broken. 

It has even been reported by maligners, that I sung a song while 
under this vinous influence ; but, as I remember nothing of it, and 
never attempted to turn a tune in all my life before or since, I 
would willingly hope there is no actual foundation for the calumny. 
I was absurd enough without this exaggeration. Without positively 
losing my senses, I speedily lost all command of my temper, and 
my impetuous passions whirled me onward at their pleasure. I 
had sate down sulky and discontented, and disposed to be silent — 
the wine rendered me loquacious, disputatious, and quarrelsome. 
I contradicted whatever was asserted, and attacked, without any 
respect to my uncle's table, both his politics and his religion. The 
affected moderation of Rashleigh, which he well knew how to 
qualify with irritating ingredients, was even more provoking to me 
than the noisy and bullying language of his obstreperous brothers. 
My uncle, to do him justice, endeavoured to bring us to order; but 
his authority was lost amidst the tumult of wine and passion. At 
length, 'frantic at some real or supposed injurious insinuation, I 
actually struck Rashleigh with my fist. No Stoic philosopher, 
superior to his own passion and that of others, could have received 
an insult with a higher degree of scorn. What he himself did not 
think it apparently worth while to resent, Thorncliff resented for 
him. Swords were drawn, and we exchanged one or two passes, 
when the other brothers separated us by main force ; and I shall 
never forget the diabolical sneer which writhed Rashleigh's way- 

ROB ROY. 139 

ward features, as I was forced from the apartment by the main 
strength of two of these youthful Titans. They secured me in my 
apartment by locking the door, and I heard them, to my inexpres- 
sible rage, laugh heartily as they descended the stairs. I essayed 
in my fury to break out ; but the window-grates, and the strength 
of a door clenched with iron, resisted my efforts. At length I 
threw myself on my bed, and fell asleep amidst vows of dire revenge 
to be taken in the ensuing day. 

But with the morning cool repentance came. I felt, in the 
keenest manner, the violence and absurdity of my conduct, and 
was obliged to confess that wine and passion had lowered my 
intellects even below those of Wilfred Osbaldistone, whom I held 
in so much contempt. My uncomfortable reflections were by no 
means soothed by meditating the necessity of an apology for my 
improper behaviour, and recollecting that Miss Vernon must be a 
witness of my submission. The impropriety and unkindness of 
my conduct to her personally, added not a little to these galling 
considerations, and for this I could not even plead the miserable 
excuse of intoxication. 

Under all these aggravating feelings of shame and degradation, 
I descended to the breakfast-hall, like a criminal to receive sen- 
tence. It chanced that a hard frost had rendered it impossible to 
take out the hounds, so that I had the additional mortification to 
meet the family, excepting only Rashleigh and Miss Vernon, in 
full divan, surrounding the cold venison-pasty and chine of beef. 
They were in high glee as I entered, and I could easily imagine 
that the jests were furnished at my expense. In fact, what I was 
disposed to consider with serious pain, was regarded as an excel- 
lent good joke by my uncle and the greater part of my cousins. 
Sir Hildebrand, while he rallied me on the exploits of the preced- 
ing evening, swore he thought a young fellow had better be thrice 
drunk in one day, than sneak sober to bed like a,presbyterian, and 
leave a batch of honest fellows and a double quart of claret. And 
to back this consolatory speech, he poured out a large bumper 
of brandy, exhorting me to swallow a hair of the dog that had 
bit me." 

" Never mind these lads laughing, nevoy," he continued ; " they 
would have been all as great milksops as yourself, had I not nursed 
them, as one may say, on the toast and tankard." 

Ill-nature was not the fault of my cousins in general ,■ they saw 
I was vexed and hurt at the recollections of the preceding evening, 
and endeavoured, with clumsy kindness, to remove the painful 
impression they had made on me. Thorncliff alone looked sullen 
and unreconciled. This young man had never liked me from the 

140 ROB ROY. 

beginning ; and in the marks of attention occasionally shown me 
by his brothers, awkward as they were, he alone had never joined. 
If it was true, of which, however, I began to have my doubts, that 
he was considered by the family, or regarded himself, as the destined 
husband of Miss Vernon, a sentiment of jealousy might have 
sprung up in his mind from the marked predilection which it was 
that young lady's pleasure to show for one whom Thorncliff might, 
perhaps, think likely to become a dangerous rival. 

Rashleigh at last entered, his visage as dark as mourning weed, 
brooding, I could not but doubt, over the unjustifiable and dis- 
graceful insult I had offered to him. I had already settled in my 
own mind how I was to behave on the occasion, and had schooled 
myself to believe, that true honour consisted not in defending, but 
in apologising for, an injury so much disproportioned to any pro- 
vocation I might have trf allege. 

I therefore hastened to meet Rashleigh, and to express myself in 
the highest degree sorry for the violence with which I had acted 
on the preceding evening. 

"No circumstances," I said, "could have wrung from me a 
single word of apology, save my own consciousness of the impro- 
priety of my behaviour. I hoped my cousin would accept of my 
regrets so sincerely offered, and consider how much of my mis- 
conduct was owing to the excessive hospitality of Osbaldistone- 

" He shall be friends with thee, lad," cried the honest knight, in 

the full effusion of his heart ; " or d n me, if I call him son 

more !^Why, Rasliie, dost stand there like a log ? Sorry for it is 
all a gentleman can say, if he happens to do anything awry, espe- 
cially over his claret. — I served in Hounslow, and should know 
something, I think, of affairs of honour. Let me hear no more of 
this, and we'll go in a body and rummage out the badger in Birken- 

Rashleigh's face resembled, as I have already noticed, no other 
countenance that I ever saw. But this singularity lay not only in 
the features, but in the mode of changing their expression. Other 
countenances, in altering from grief to joy, or from anger to satis- 
faction, pass through some brief interval ere the expression of the 
predominant passion supersedes entirely that of its predecessor. 
There is a sort of twilight, like that between the clearing up of the 
darkness and the rising of the sun, while the swollen muscles sub- 
side, the dark eye clears, the forehead relaxes and expands itself, 
and the whole countenance loses its sterner shades, and becomes 
serene and placid. Rashleigh's face exhibited none of these gra- 
dations, but 'changed almost instantaneously from the expression 

ROB ROY. 141 

of one passion to that of the contrary. I can compare it to nothing 
but the sudden shifting of a scene in the theatre, where, at the 
whistle of the prompter, a cavern disappears and a grove arises. 

My attention was strongly arrested by this peculiarity on the 
present occasion. At Rashleigh's first entrance, " black he stood 
as night ! " With the same inflexible countenance he heard my 
excuse and his father's exhortation; and it was not until Sir 
Hildebrand had done speaking, that the cloud cleared away at 
once, and he expressed, in the kindest and most civil terms, his 
perfect satisfaction with the very handsome apology I had offered. 

" Indeed," he said, " I have so poor a brain myself, when I im- 
pose on it the least burden beyond my usual three glasses, that I 
have only, like honest Cassio, a very vague recollection of the con- 
fusion of last night — remember a mass of things, but nothing 
distinctly — a quarrel,. but nothing wherefore — So, my dear cousin," 
he continued, shaking me kindly by the hand, " conceive how 
much I am relieved by finding that I have to receive an apology, 
instead of having to make one — I will not have a word said 
upon the subject more ; I should be very foolish to institute any 
scrutiny into an account, when the balance, which I expected to 
be against me, has been so unexpectedly and agreeabl;g^ struck in 
my favour. You see, Mr. Osbaldistone, I am practising the 
language of Lombard Street, and qualifying myself for my new 

As I was about to answer, and raised my eyes for the purpose, 
they encountered those of Miss Vernon, who, having entered the 
room unobserved during the conversation, had given it her close 
attention. Abashed and confounded, I fixed my eyes on the 
ground, and made my escape to the breakfast table, where I herded 
among my busy cousins. 

My uncle, that the events of the preteding day might not pass 
out of our memory without a practical moral lesson, took occa- 
sion to give Rashleigh and me his serious advice to correct our 
milksop habits, as he termed them, and gradually to inure our 
brains to bear a gentlemanlike quantity of liquor, without braw;ls 
or breaking of heads. He recommended that we should begin 
piddling with a regular quart of claret per day, which, with the aid 
of March beer and brandy, made a handsottie competence for a 
beginner in the art of toping. And for our encouragement, he 
assured us that he had known many a man who had lived to our 
years without having drunk a pint of wine at a sitting, who yet, 
by falling into honest company, and following hearty example, had 
afterwards been numbered among the best good fellows of the 
time, and could carry off their six bottles under their belt, quietly 

142 ROB ROY. 

and comfortably, without brawling or babbling, and be neither sick 
nor sorry the next morning. 

Sage as this advice was, and comfortable as was the prospect it 
held out to me, I profited but little by the exhortation, partly, per- 
haps, because, as often as I raised my eyes from the table, I ob- 
served Miss Vernon's looks fixed on me, in which I thought I could 
read grave compassion blended with regret and displeasure. I 
began to consider how I should seek a scene of explanation and 
apology with her also, when she gave me to understand she was 
determined to save me the trouble of, soliciting an interview. 
" Cousin Francis," she said, addressing me by the same title she 
used to give to the other Osbaldistones, although I had, properly 
spealdng, no title to be called her kinsman, " I have encountered 
this morning a difficult passage in the Divfna Commddia of Dante ; 
will you have the goodness to step to the library and give me your 
assistance ? and when you have unearthed for me the meaning of 
the obscure Florentine, we will join the rest at Birkenwood=:bank, 
and see their luck at unearthing the badger." 

I signified, of course, my readiness to wait upon her. Rash- 
leigh made an offer to accompany us. " I am something better 
skilled," he said, " at tracking the sense of Dante through meta- 
phors and elisions of his wild and gloomy poem, than at hunting 
the poor inoffensive hermit yonder out of his cave." 

" Pardon me, Rashleigh," said Miss Vernon, " but as you are to 
occupy Mr. Francis's place in the counting-house, you must sur- 
render to him the charge of your pupil's education at Osbaldistone- 
Hall. We shall call you in, however, if there is any occasion ; so 
pray do not look so grave upon it. Besides, it is a shame to you 
not to understand field-sports — ^What will you do should our uncle 
in Crane-Alley ask you the signs by which you track a badger ? " 

"Ay, true. Die, — true," said Sir Hildebrand, with a sigh. " I mis- 
doubt Rashleigh will be foimd short at the leap when he is put to 
the trial. An he would ha' learned useful knowledge like his 
brothers, he was bred up where it grew, I wuss ; but French antics, 
and book-learning, with the new turnips, and the rats,, and the 
Hanoverians, ha' changed the world that I ha' known in Old Eng- 
land — But come along with us,'Rashie, and carry my hunting-staff, 
man ; thy cousin lacks none of thy company as now, and I wonna 
ha' Die crossed — It's ne'er be said there was but one woman in 
Osbaldistone-Hall, and she died for lack of her will." 

Rashleigh followed his father, as he commanded, not, however, 
ere he had whispered to Diana, " 1 suppose I must in discretion 
bring the courtier. Ceremony, in my company, and knock when I 
approach the door of the library ? " 

ROB ROY. 143 

" No, no, Rashleigh," said Miss Vernon ; " dismiss from your 
company the false archimage Dissimulation, and it will better 
ensure your free access to our classical consultations." 

So saying, she led the way to the library, and I followed — like a 
criminal, I was going to say, to execution ; but, as I bethink me, I 
have used the simile once, if not twice before. Without any simile 
at all, then, I followed, with a sense of awkward and conscious 
embarrassment, which I would have given a great deal to shake off. 
I thought it a degrading and unworthy feeling to attend one on 
such an occasion, having breathed the air of the Continent long 
enough to have imbibed the notion that lightness, gaUantl-y, and 
something approaching to well-bred self-assurance, should distin- 
guish the gentleman whom a fair lady selects tor her companion 
in a tete-d.-tete. 

My English feelings, however, were too many for my French 
education, and I made, I believe, a very pitiful figure when Miss 
Vernon, seating herself majestically in a huge elbow-chair in the 
hbrary, like a judge about to hear a cause of importance, signed,to 
me to take a chair opposite to her (which I did, much like the poor 
fellow who is going to be fried), and entered upon conversation in a 
tone of bitter irony. 


Dire was his thought, who first in poison steep'd 
The weapon form'd for slaughter — direr his; 
And worthier of damnation, who instill'd 
The mortal venom in the social cup. 
To fill the veins with death instead of life. 


" Upon my word, Mr. Francis. Osbaldistone," said Miss Vernon, 
with the air of one who thought herself fully entitled to assume the 
privilege of ironical, reproach, which she was pleased to exert, 
" your character improves upon us, sir — I could not have thought 
that it was in you. Yesterday might be considered as your assay- 
piece, to prove yourself pntitled to be free of the corporation of 
Osbaldistone-Hall. But it was a masterpiece." 

" I am quite sensible of my ill-breeding. Miss Vernon, and I can 
only say for myself that I had received some communications by 
which my spirits were unusually agitated. I am conscious I was 
impertinent and absurd." 

" You do yourself great injustice," said the merciless monitor — 
"you have contrived, by what I saw and have since heard, to 

144 ROB ROY. 

exhibit in the course of one evening a happy display of all the 
various masterly qualifications which distinguish your several 
cousins ; — the gentle and generous temper of the_ benevolent Rash- 
leigh, — the temperance of Percie, — the cool courage of ThomclifF, — 
John's skill in dog-breaking, — Dickon's aptitude to betting, — all 
exhibited by the single individual Mr. Francis, and that with a 
selection of time, place, and circumstance worthy the taste and 
sagacity of the sapient Wilfred." 

" Have a little mercy, Miss Vernon,'' said I ; for I confess I 
thought the schooling as severe as the case merited, especially con- 
sidering from what quarter it came, " and forgive me if I suggest, as 
an excuse for follies I am not usually guilty of, the custom of this 
house and country. I am far from approving of it ; but we have 
Shakspeare's authority for saying that good wine is a good familiar 
creature, and that any man living may be overtaken at some 

" Ay, M^. Francis, but he places the panegyric and the apology 
in the mouth of the greatest villain his pencil has drawn. I will 
not, however, abuse the advantage your quotation has given me, by 
overwhelming you with the refutation with which the victim Cassio 
replies to the tempter lago. I only wish you to know, that there is 
one person at least sorry to see a youth of talents and expectations 
sink into the slough in which the inhabitants of this house are 
nightly wallowing." 

" I have but wet my shoe, I assure you, Miss Vernon, and am 
too sensible of the filth of the puddle to step farther in." 

" If such be your resolution," she replied, " it is a wise one. But 
I was so much vexed at what I heard, that your concerns have 
pressed before my own. — You behaved to me yesterday, during 
dinner, as if something had been told you which lessened or lowered 
me in your opinion — I beg leave to ask you what it was ? " 

I was stupified — the direct IJuntness of the demand was much in 
the style one gentleman uses toi' another, when requesting explana- 
tion of any part of his conduct in a good-humoured yet determined 
manner, and was totally devoid of the circumlocutions, shadings, 
softenings, and periphrasis, which usually accompany explanations 
betwixt persons of different sexes in the higher orders of society. 

I remained completely embarrassed ; for it pressed on my recol- 
lection, that Rashleigh's communications, supposing them to be 
correct, ought to have rendered Miss Vernon rather an object of my 
compassion than of my pettish resentment ; and ha^ they furnished 
the best apology possible for my own conduct, still I must have had 
the utmost difficulty in detailing what inferred such necessary and 
natural offence to Miss Vernon's feelings. She observed my hesi- 


tation, and proceeded, in a tone somewhat more peremptory, but 
still temperate and civil. 

" I hope Mr. Osbaldistone does not dispute my title to request 
this explanation' I have no relative vi^ho can protect me ; it is, 
therefore, just that I be permitted to protect myself." 

I endeavoured with hesitation to throw the blame of my rude 
behaviour upon indisposition — upon disagreeable letters from 
London. She suffered me to exhaust my apologies, and fairly to 
run myself aground, listening all the while with a smile of absolute 

" And now, Mr. Francis, having gone through your prologue of 
excuses, with the same bad grace with which all prologues are 
delivered, please to draw the curtain, and show me that which I 
desire to see. In a word, let me know what Rashleigh says of me j 
for he is the grand engineer and first mover of all the machinery of 

" But supposing there was anything to tell. Miss Vernon, what 
does he deserve that betrays the secrets of one ally to another ? — 
Rashleigh, you yourself told me, remained your ally, though no 
longer your friend." 

" I have neither patience for evasion, nor inclination for jesting, 
on the present subject. Rashleigh cannot — ought not — dare not, 
hold any language respecting me, Diana Vernon, but what I may 
demand to hear repeated. That there are subjects of secrecy and 
confidence between us, is most certain ; but to such, his communi- 
tions to you could have no relation ; and with such, I, as an indi- 
vidual, have no concern." 

I had by this time recovered my presence of mind, and hastily 
determined to avoid making any disclosure of what Rashleigh had 
told me in a sort of confidence. There was something unworthy in 
retailing private conversation ; it could, I thought, do no good, and 
must necessarily give Miss Vernon great pain. I therefore replied, 
gravely, " that nothing but frivolous talk had passed between Mr. 
Rashleigh Osbaldistone and me on the state of the family at the 
Hall ; and I protested, that nothing had been said which left a 
serious impression to her disadvantage. As a gentleman, I said, I 
could not be more explicit in reporting private conversation." 

She started up with the animation of a Camilla about to advance 
into battle. " This shall not serve your turn, sir, — I must have 
another answer from you." Her features kindled — her brow became 
flushed — her eye glanced wild-fire as she proceeded — " I demand 
such an explanation, as a woman basely slandered has a right to 
demand from every man who calls himself a gentleman — as a crea- 
ture, motherless, friendless, alone in the world, left to her own 


r46 ROB ROY. 

guidance and protection, has a right to require from every being 
having a happier lot, in the name of that God who sent them into 
the world to enjoy, and her to suffer. You shall not deny me — or," 
she added, looking solemnly upwards, " you will rue your denial, 
if there is justice for wrong either on earth or in heaven." 

I was utterly astonished at her vehemence, but felt, thus conjured, 
that it became my duty to lay aside scrupulous delicacy, and gave 
her briefly, but distinctly, the heads of the information which 
Rashleigh had conveyed to me. 

She sate down and resumed her composure, as soon as I entered 
upon the subject, and when I stopped to seek for the most delicate 
turn of expression, she repeatedly interrupted me, with " Go on — 
pray, go on ; the first word which occurs to you is the plainest, and 
must be the best. Do not think of my feelings, but speak as you 
would to an unconcerned third party." 

Thus urged and encouraged, I stammered through all the 
account which Rashleigh had given of her early contract to marry 
an Osbaldistone, and of the uncertainty and difficulty of her choice ; 
and there I would willingly have paused. But her penetration dis- 
covered that there was still something behind, and even guessed to 
what it related. 

" Well, it was ill-natured of Rashleigh to tell this tale on me. I 
am like the poor girl in the fairy tale, who was betrothed in her 
cradle to the Black Bear of Norway, but complained chiefly of 
being called Bruin's bride by her companions at school. But 
besides all this, Rashleigh said something of himself with relation 
to me — Did he not ? " 

" He certainly hinted, that were itnot for the idea of supplanting 
his brother, he would now, in consequence of his change of profes- 
sion, be desirous that the word Rashleigh should fill up the blank 
in the dispensation, instead of the word Thorncliff." 

" Ay ! indeed? " she replied ; " was he so very condescending ? — 
Too much honour for his humble handmaid, Diana Vernon — And 
she, I suppose, was to be enraptured with joy could such a substi- 
tute be effected ? " 

" To confess the truth, he intimated as much, and even farther 
insinuated " 

" What ? — Let me hear it all ! " she exclaimed, hastily. 

" That he had broken off your mutual intimacy, lest it Should 
have given rise to an affection by which his destination to the 
church would not permit him to profit." 

" I am obliged to him for his consideration," replied Miss Vernon, 
every feature of her fine countenance taxed to express the most 
supreme degree of scorn and contempt. She paused a moment, 

ROB ROY. 147 

and then said, with her usual composure, "There is but little I have 
heard from you which I did not expect to hear, and which I ought 
not to have expected ; because, bating one circumstance, it is all 
very true. But as there are some poisons so active that a few drops, 
it is said, will infect a whole fountain, so there is one falsehood in 
Rashleigh's communication, powerful enough to corrupt the whole 
well in which Truth herself is said to have dwelt. It is the leading 
and foul falsehood, that, knowing Rashleigh as I have reason too 
well to know him, any circumstance on earth could make me think 
of sharing my lot with him. No," she continued, 'with a sort of 
inward shuddering that seemed to express involuntary horror, " any 
lot rather than that — the sot, the gambler, the bully, the jockey, the 
insensate fool, were a thousand times preferable to Rashleigh ; — 
the convent — the jail — the grave, shall be welcome before them all." 

There was a sad and melancholy cadence in her voice, corres- 
ponding with the strange and interesting romance of her situation. 
So young, so beautiful, so untaught, so much abandoned to herself, 
and deprived of all the support which her sex derives from the 
countenance and protection of female friends, and even of that 
degree of defence which arises from the forms with which the sex 
are approached in civilized life, — it is scarce metaphorical to say, 
that my heart bled for her. Yet there was an expression of dignity 
in her contempt of ceremony — of upright feeling in her disdain of 
falsehood — of firm resolution in the manner in which she contem- 
plated the dangers by which she was surrounded, which blended 
my pity with the warmest admiration. She seemed a princess de- 
serted by her subjects, and deprived of her power, yet still scorning 
those formal regulations of society which are created for persons of 
an inferior rank ; and, amid her difficulties, relying boldly and con- 
fidently on the justice of Heaven, and the unshaken constancy of 
her own mind. 

I offered to express the mingled feehngs of sympathy and 
admiration with which her unfortunate situation and her high 
spirit combined to impress me, but she imposed silence on me 
at once. 

" I told you in jest," she said, " that I disUked compliments — I 
now tell you in earnest, that I do not ask sympathy, and that I 
despise consolation. W^at I have borne, I have borne — What 
I am to bear, I will sustain as I may ; no word of commiseration 
can make a burden feel one feather's weight lighter to the slave 
who must carry it. There is only one human being who could 
have assisted me, and that is he who has rather chosen to add to 
my embarrassment — Rashleigh Osbaldistone. — Yes ! the time once 
was that I might have learned to love that man — But, great God ! 

K 2 

148 ROB ROY. 

the purpose for -which he insinuated himself into the confidence of 
one already so forlorn — the undeviating and continued assuidity 
with which he pursued that purpose from year to year, without one 
single momentary pause of remorse or compassion — the purpose 
for which he would have converted into poison the food he 
administered to my mind— Gracious Providence! what should 
I have been in this world and the next, in body and soul, had I 
fallen under the arts of this accomplished villain ! " 

I was so much struck with the scene of perfidious treachery 
which these words disclosed, that I rose from chair, hardly knowing 
what I did, laid my hand on the hilt of my sword, and was about 
to leave the apartment in search of him on whom I might dis- 
charge my just indignation. Almost breathless, and with eyes 
and looks in which scorn and indignation had given way to 
the most lively alarm, Miss Vernon threw herself between me and 
the door of the apartment. 

" Stay ! " she said — " stay ; however just your resentment, you 
do not know half the secrets of this fearful prison-house." She 
then glanced her eyes anxiously round the room, and sunk her 
voice almost to a whisper — " He bears a charmed life ; you cannot 
assail him without endangering other lives, and wider destruction. 
Had it been otherwise, in some hour of justice he had hardly been 
safe, even from this weak hand. I told you," she said, motioning 
me back to my seat, " that I needed no comforter — I now tell you, 
I need no avenger." 

I resumed my seat mechanically, musing on what she said, and 
recollecting also, what had escaped me in my first glow of resent- 
ment, that I had no title whatever to constitute myself Miss 
Vernon's champiort. She paused to let her own emotions and mine 
subside, and then addressed me with more composure. 

" I have already said, that there is a mystery connected with 
Rashleigh, of a dangerous and fatal nature. Villain as he is, and 
as he knows he stands convicted in my eyes, I cannot — dare not, 
openly break with or defy him. You also, Mr. Osbaldistone, must 
bear with him with patience, foil his artifices by opposing to them 
prudence, not violence ; and, above all, you must avoid such 
scenes as that of last night, which cannot but give him perilous 
advantages over you. This caution I designed to give you, and it 
was the object with which I desired this interview ; but I have 
extended my confidence farther than I proposed." 

I assured her it was not misplaced. 

" I do not believe that it is," she replied. " You have that in 
your face and manners which authorizes trust. Let us continue to 
be friends. You need not fear," she said, laughing, while she 

ROB ROY. 149 

blushed a little, yet speaking with a free and unembarrased voice, 
" that friendship with us should prove only a specious name, as the 
poet says, for another feeling. I belong, in habits of thinking and 
acting, rather to your sex, with which I have always been brought 
up, than to my own. Besides, the fatal veil was wrapped round 
me in my cradle ; for you may easily believe I have never thought 
of the detestable condition under which I may remove it. The 
time," she added, " for expressing my final determination is not 
arrived, and I would fain have the freedom of wild heath and open 
air with the other commoners of nature, as long as I can be per- 
mitted to enjoy them. And now that the passage in Dante is made 
so clear, pray go and see what is become of the badger-baiters — 
My head aches so much that I cannot join the party." 

I left the library, but not to join the hunters. I felt that a soli- 
tary walk was necessary to compose my spirits, before I again 
trusted myself in Rashleigh's company, whose depth of calculating 
villany had been so strikingly exposed to me. In Dubourg's 
family (as he was of the reformed persuasion), I had heard many a 
tale of Romish priests, who gratified, at the expense of friendship, 
hospitality, and the most sacred ties of social life, those passions, 
the blameless indulgence of which is denied by the rules of their 
order. But the deliberate system of undertaking the education 
of a deserted orphan of noble birth, and so intimately allied to his 
own family, with the perfidious purpose of ultimately seducing her, 
detailed as it was by the intended victim with all the glow of 
virtuous resentment, seemed more atrocious to me than the worst 
of the tales I had heard at Bourdeaux, and I felt it would be 
extremely difficult for me to meet Rashleigh, and yet to suppress 
the abhorrence with which he impressed me. Yet this was abso- 
lutely necessary, not only on account of the mysterious charge 
which Diana had given me, but because I had, in reality, no 
ostensible ground for quarrelling with him. 

I therefore resolved, as far as possible, to meet Rashleigh's dis- 
simulation with equal caution on my part during our residence in 
the same family; and when he should depart for London, I 
resolved to give Owen at least such a hint of his character as might 
keep him on his guard over my father's interests. Avarice or 
ambition, I thought, might have as great, or greater charms, for a 
mind constituted like Rashleigh's, than unlawful pleasure ; the 
energy of his character, and his power of assuming all seeming 
good qualities, were likely to procure him a high degree of con- 
fidence, and it was not to be hoped, that either good faith or 
gratitude would prevent him from abusing it. The task, was some- 
what difficult, especially in my circumstances, since the caution 


which I threw out might be imputed to jealousy of my rival, or 
rather my successor, in my father's favour. Yet I thought it abso- 
lutely necessary to frame such a letter, leaving it to Owen, who, in 
his own line, was wary, prudent, and circumspect, to make the 
necessary use of his knowledge of Rashleigh's true character. 
Such a letter, therefore, I indited, and dispatched to the post- 
house by the first opportunity. 

At my meeting with Rashleigh, he, as well as I, appeared to have 
taken up distant ground, and to be disposed to avoid all pretext 
for ■ collision. He was probably conscious that Miss Vernon's 
communications had. been unfavourable to him, though he could 
not know that they extended to discovering his meditated villany 
towards her. Our intercourse, therefore, was reserved on both 
sides, and turned on subjects of little interest. Indeed, his stay at 
Osbaldistone-Hall did not exceed a few days after this period, 
during which I only remarked two circumstances respecting him. 
The first was, the rapid and almost intuitive manner in which his 
powerful and active mind seized upon and arranged the elementary 
principles necessary in his new profession, which he now studied 
hard, and occasionally made parade of his progress, as if to show 
me how light it was for him to lift the burden which I had flung 
down from very weariness and inability to carry it. The other re- 
markable circumstance was, that, notwithstanding the injuries 
with which Miss Vernon charged Rashleigh, they had several 
private interviews together of considerable length, although their 
bearing towards each other in pubUc did not seem more cordial 
than usual. 

When the day of Rashleigh's departure arrived, his father bade 
him farewell with indifference ; his brothers, with the ill-concealed 
glee of school-boys, who see their taskmaster depart for a season, 
and feel a joy which they dare not express ; and I myself with cold 
politeness. When he approached Miss Vernon, and would have 
saluted her, she drew back with a look of haughty disdain ; but 
said, as she extended her hand to him, " Farewell, Rashleigh ; God 
reward you for the good you have done, and forgive you for the evil 
you have meditated." 

"Amen, my fair cousin," he rephed, with an air of sanctity, 
which belonged, I thought, to the seminary of Saint Omers ; 
" happy is he whose good intentions have borne fruit in deeds, and 
whose evil thoughts have perished in the blossom." 

These were his parting words. " Accomplished hypocrite ! " said 
Miss Vernon to me, as the door closed behind him — " how nearly 
can what we most despise and hate, approach in outward manner 
to that which we most venerate ! " 

ROB ROY. 151 

I had written to my father by Rashleigh, and also a few lines to 
Owen, besides the confidential letter which I have already men- 
tioned, and which I thought it more proper and prudent to dispatch 
by another conveyance. In these epistles, it would have been 
natural for me to have pointed out to my father and my friend, 
that I was at present in a situation where I could improve myself 
in no respect, unless in the mysteries of hunting and hawking ; 
and where I was not unlikely to forget, in the company of rude 
grooms and horse-boys, any useful knowledge or elegant accom- 
plishments which I had hitherto acquired. It would also have 
been natural that I should have expressed the disgust and tedium 
which I was likely to feel among beings whose whole souls were 
centered in field-sports or more degrading pastimes — that I should 
have complained of the habitual intemperance of the family in 
which I was a guest, and the difficulty and almost resentment 
with which my uncle Sir Hildebrand received any apology for 
deserting the bottle. This last, indeed, was a topic on which my 
father, himself a man of severe temperance, was likely to be easily 
alarmed, and to have touched upon this spring would to a cer- 
tainty have opened the doors of my prison-house, and would 
either have been the means of abridging my exile, or at least would 
have procured me a change of residence during my rustication. 

I say, my dear Tresham, that, considering how very unpleasant 
a prolonged residence at Osbaldistone-HaU must have been to a 
young man of my age, and with my habits, it might have seemed 
very natural that I should have pointed out all these disadvantages 
to my father, in order to obtain his consent for leaving my uncle's 
mansion. Nothing, however, is more certain, than that I did not 
say a single word to this purpose in my letters to my father and 
Owen. If Osbaldistone-HaU had been Athens in all its pristine 
glory of learning, and inhabited by sages, heroes, and poets, I 
could not have expressed less inclination to leave it. 

If thou hast any of the salt of youth left in thee, Tresham, thou 
wilt be at no loss to account for my silence on a topic seemingly 
so obvious. Miss Vernon's extreme beauty, of which she herself 
seemed so little conscious — ^her romantic and mysterious situation 
— the evils to which she was exposed — the courage with which she 
seemed to face them — her manners, more frank than belonged to 
her sex, yet, as it seemed to me, exceeding in frankness only from 
the dauntless consciousness of her innocence, — above all, the 
obvious and flattering distinction which she made in my favour 
over all other persons, were at once calculated to interest my best 
feelings, to excite my curiosity, awaken my imagination, and gratify 
my vanity. I dared not, indeed, confess to myself the depth of the 


interest with which Miss Vernon inspired me, or the large share 
which she occupied in my thoughts. We read together, walked 
together, rode together, and sate together. The studies which 
she had broken off upon her quarrel with Rashleigh, she now re- 
sumed, under the auspices of a tutor whose views were more sin- 
cere, though his capacity was far more limited. 

In truth, I was by no means quaUfied to assist her in the pro- 
secution of several profound studies which she had commenced 
with Rashleigh, and which appeared to me more fitted for a church- 
man than for a beautiful female. Neither can I conceive with what 
view he should have engaged Diana in the gloomy maze of casuistry 
which schoolmen called philosophy, or in tne equally abstruse 
though more certain sciences of mathematics and astronomy ; un- 
less it were to break down and confound in her mind the difference 
and distinction between the sexes, and to habituate her to trains of 
subtile reasoning, by which he might at his own time invest that 
which is wrong with the colour of that which is right. It was in 
the same spirit, though in the latter case the evil purpose was more 
obvious, that the lessons of Rashleigh had encouraged Miss Vernon 
in setting at nought and despising the forms and ceremonial limits 
which are drawn round females in modern society. It is true, she 
was sequestrated from all female company, and could not learn the 
usual rules of decorum, either from example or precept ; yet such 
was her innate modesty, and accurate sense of what was right and 
wrong, that she would not of herself have adopted the bold uncom- 
promising manner which struck me with so much surprise on our 
first acquaintance, had she not been led to conceive that a contempt 
of ceremony indicated at once the superiority of understanding, 
and the confidence of conscious innocence. Her wily instructor 
had, no doubt, his own views in levelling those outworks which 
reserve and caution erect around virtue. But for these, and for his 
other crimes, he has long since answered at a higher tribunal. 

Besides the progress which Miss Vernon, whose powerful mind 
readily adopted every means of information offered to it, had made 
in more abstract science, I found her no contemptible linguist, and 
well acquainted both with ancient and modern literature. Were it 
not that strong talents will often go farthest when they seem to 
have least assistance, it would be almost incredible to tell the 
rapidity of Miss Vernon's progress in knowledge ; and it was still 
more extraordinary, when her stock of mental acquisitions from 
books was compared with her total ignorance of actual life. It 
seemed as if she saw and knew everything, except what passed in 
the world around her ; and I believe it was this very ignorance and 
simplicity of thinking upon ordinary subjects, so strikingly con- 

ROB ROY. 153 

trasted with her fund of general knowledge and information, which 
rendered her conversation so irresistibly fascinating, and riveted 
the attention to whatever she said or did ; since it was absolutely 
impossible to anticipate whether her next word or action was to 
display the most acute perception or the most profound simplicity. 
The degree of danger which necessarily attended a youth of my 
age and keen feelings from reniaining in close and constant inti- 
macy with an object so amiable, and so peculiarly interesting, all 
all who remember their own sentiments at my age may easily 


Yon lamp its line of quivering light 

Shoots from my lady's bower ; 
But why should Beauty's lamp be bright 

At midnight's lonely hour ? Old Ballad. 

The mode of life at Osbaldistone-Hall was too uniform to 
admit of description. Diana Vernon and I enjoyed much of our 
time in our mutual studies ; the rest of the family killed theirs in 
such sports and pastimes as suited the seasons, in which we also 
took a share. My uncle was a man of habits, and by habit be- 
came so much accustomed to my presence and mode of life, that, 
upon the whole, he was rather fond of me than otherwise. I might 
probably have risen yet higher in his good graces, had I employed 
the same arts for that purpose which were used by Rashleigh, who, 
availing himself of his father's disinclination to business, had gra- 
dually insinuated himself into the management of his property. 
But although I readily gave my uncle the advantage of my pen and 
my arithmetic so often as he desired to correspond with a neigh- 
bour, or settle with a tenant, and was, in so far, a more useful inmate 
in his family than any of his sons, yet I was not willing to oblige 
Sir Hildebrand by relieving him entirely from the management of 
his own affairs ; so that, while the good knight admitted that nevoy 
Frank was a steady, handy lad, he seldom failed to remark in the 
same breath, that he did not think he should ha' missed Rashleigh 
so much as he was like to do. 

As it is particularly unpleasant to reside in a family where we are 
at variance with any part of it, I made some efforts to dvercome 
the ill-will which my cousins entertained against me. I exchanged 
my laced hat for a jockey-cap, and made some progress in their 
opinion ; I broke a young colt in a manner which carried me further 
into their good graces. A bet or two opportunely lost to Dickon, 


and an extra health pledged with Percie, placed me on an easy and 
familiar footing with all the young squires, except Thorncliff. 

I have already noticed the dislike entertained against me by this 
young fellow, who, as he had rather more sense, had also a much 
worse temper, than any of his brethren. Sullen, dogged, and quarrel- 
some, he regarded my residence at Osbaldistone-Hall as an intru- 
sion, and viewed with envious and jealous eyes my intimacy with 
Diana Vernon, whom the effect proposed to be given to a certain 
family-compact assigned to him as an intended spouse. That he 
loved her, could scarcely be said, at least without much misappli- 
cation of the word; but he regarded her as something appro- 
priated to himself, and resented internally the interference which 
he knew not how to prevent or interrupt. I attempted a tone of 
conciliation towards Thorncliff on several occasions ; but he rejected 
my advances with a manner about as gracious as that of a growl- 
ing mastiff, when the animal shuns and resents a stranger's attempts 
to caress him. I therefore abandoned him to his ill-humour, and 
gave myself no further trouble about the matter. 

Such was the footing upon which 1 stood with the family at Os- 
baldistone-Hall ; but I ought to mention another of its inmates 
with whom I occasionally held some discourse. This was Andrew 
Fairservice, the gardener, who (since he had discovered that I was 
a Protestant) rarely suffered me to pass him without proffering his 
Scotch mull for a social pinch. There were several advantages 
attending this courtesy. In the first place, it was made at no ex- 
pense, for I never took snuff ; and, secondly, it afforded an excel- 
lent apology to Andrew (who was not particularly fond of hard 
labour) for laying aside his spade for several minutes. But, above 
all, these brief interviews gave Andrew an opportunity of venting 
the news he had collected, or the satirical remarks which his 
shrewd northern humour suggested. 

" I am saying, sir," he said to me one evening, with a face ob- 
viously charged with intelligence, " I hae been down at the Trin- 

" Well, Andrew, and I suppose you heard some news at the ale- 

" Na, sir ; I never gang to the yillhouse — that is, unless ony 
neighbour was to gie me a pint, or the like o' that ; but to gang 
there on ane's ain coat-tail, is a waste o' precious time and hard-won 
siller. — But I was doun at the Trinlay-knowe, as I was saying, about 
a wee wit business o' my ain wi' Mattie Simpson, that wants a forpit 
or twa o' peers that will never be missed in the Ha'-house — and 
when we were at the thrangest o' our bargain, wha suld come in 
but Pate Macready, the travelling merchant ? " 


" Pedlar, I suppose you mean ? " 

" E'en as your honour likes to ca' him ; but it's a creditable call- 
ing and a gainfu', and has been lang in use wi' our folk. Pate's 
a far-awa cousin o' mine, and we were blythe to meet wi' ane 

" And you went and had a jug of ale together, I suppose, An- 
drew? — For Heaven's sake, cut short your story." 

" Bide a wee — bide a wee ; you southrons are aye in sic a hurry, 
and this is something concerns yourseU, an ye wad tak patience to 
hear"!— Yill ?— deil a drap o' yill did Pate offer me ; but Mattie 
gae us baith a drap skimmed milk, and ane o' her thick ait ban- 
nocks, that was as wat and raw as a divot — O for the bonnie 
girdle cakes o' the North ! — and sae we sat doun and took out 
our clavers." 

" I wish you would take them out just now. Pray, tell me the 
news, if you have got any worth telling, for I can't stop here all 

" Than, if ye maun hae't, the folk in Lunnun are a' clean wud 
about this bit job in the north here." 

" Clean wood ! what's that ?" 

" Ou, just real daft — neither to haud nor to bind — a' hirdy- 
girdy — clean through ither — the deil's ower Jock Wabster." 

" But what does all this mean ? or what business have I with 
the devil or Jack Webster ? " 

" Umph ! " said Andrew, looking extremely knowing, " it's just 
because — just that the dirdum's a' about yon man's pokmanty." 

" Whose portmanteau ? or what do you mean ? " 

" Ou, just the man Morris's, that he said he lost yonder : but if 
it's no your honour's affair, as little is it mine ; and I mauna lose 
this gracious evening." 

And, as if suddenly seized with a violent fit of industry, Andrew 
began to labour most diligently. 

My attention, as the crafty knave had foreseen, was now arrested, 
and unwilling, at the same time, to acknowledge any particular in- 
terest in that affair, by asking direct questions, I stood waiting till 
the spirit of voluntary communication .should again prompt him to 
resume his story. Andrew dug on manfully, and spoke at intervals, 
but nothing to the purpose of Mr. Macrfiad^s news ; and I stood 
and listened, cursing him in my heart, and desirous, at the same 
time, to see how long his humour of contradiction would prevail 
over his desire of speaking upon the subject which was obviously 
uppermost in his mind. 

" Am trenching up the sparry-grass, and am gaun to saw sum 
Misegun beans ; they winna want them to their swine's flesh, I'se 


warrant— muckle gude may it do them. And siclike dung as the 
grieve has gien me ! it should be wheat-strae, or aiten at the warst 
o't, and it's pease-dirt, as fizzenless as chuckie-stanes. But the 
huntsman guides a' as he likes about the stable-yard, and he's selled 
the best o' the litter, I'se warrant. But, howsoever, we mauna lose 
a turn o' this Saturday, at e'en, for the wather's sair broken, and if 
there's a fair day in seven, Sundajr's sure to come and lick it up — ■ 
Howsomever, I'm no denying that it may settle, if it be Heaven's 
will, till Monday morning, and, what's the use o' my breaking my 
back at this rate — I think, I'll e'en awa' hame, for yon's the curfew, 
as they ca' the jowing-in bell." 

Accordingly, applying both his hands to his spade, he pitched it 
upright in the trench which he had been digging, and, looking at 
me with the air of superiority of one who knows himself possessed 
of important information, which he may communicate or refuse at 
his pleasure, pulled down the sleeves of his shirt, and walked slowly 
towards his coat, which lay carefully folded up upon a neighbour- 
ing garden-seat. 

" I must pay the penalty of having interrupted the tiresome 
rascal," thought I to myself, " and even gratify Mr. Fairservice by 
taking his communication on his own terms." Then raising my 
voice, I addressed him, — " And after all, Andrew, what are these 
London news you had from your kinsman, the travelling mer- 

" The pedlar, your honour means ? " retorted Andrew — " but ca' 
him what ye' wuU, they're a great convenience in a country-side 
that's scant o' borough-towns, like this Northumberland — That's no 
the case, now, in Scotland ; — there's the kingdom o' Fife, frae Cul- 
ross to the East Nuik, it's just like a great combined city — Sae 
mony royal boroughs yoked on end to end, like ropes of ingans, 
with their hie-streets, and their booths, nae doubt, and their 
kraemes, and houses of stane and lime and fore-stairs — Kirkcaldy, 
the sell o't, is langer than ony toun in England." 

" I dare say it is all very splendid and very fine — but you were 
talking of the London news a little while ago, Andrew." 

" Ay," replied Andrew ; " but I dinna think your honour cared to 
hear about them — howsoever," (he continued, grinning a ghastly 
smile), " Pate Macready does say, that they are sair mystrysted 
yonder in their Parliament-House about this rubbery o' Mr. Morris, 
or whatever they ca' the chiel." 

" In the House of Parliament, Andrew ! How came they to 
mention it there ? " 

" Ou, that's just what I said to Pate ; if it like your honour, I'll 
tell you the very words ; it's no worth making a lie for the matter — 


' Pate,' said I, ' what ado had the lords and lairds and gentles at 
Lunnun wi' the carle and his walise ? — When we had a Scotch Par- 
liament, Pate,' says I (and deil rax their thrapples that reft us o't !) 
' they sate dousely doun and made laws for a hail country and kin- 
rick, and never fashed their beards about things that were compe- 
tent to the judge ordinar o' the bounds ; but I think,' said I, ' that 
if ae kailwife pou'd aff her neebor's mutch, they wad hae the twa- 
some o' them into the Parliament-House o' Lunnun. It's just,' 
said I, ' amaist as silly as our auld daft laird here and his gomerils 
o' sons, wi' his huntsmen and his hounds, and his hunting cattle 
and horns, riding haill days after a bit beast that winna weigh sax 
punds when they hae catched it.' " 

"You argued most admirably, Andrew," said I, willing to en- 
courage him to get into the marrow of his intelligence ; " and what 
said Pate?" 

" Ou," he said, " what better could- be expected of a wheen pock- 
pudding English folk ? — But as to the robbery, it's like that when 
they're a' at the thrang o' their Whig and Tory wark, and ca'ing ane 
anither, like unhanged blackguards — up gets ae lang-tongued 
chield, and he says, that a' the north of England were rank Jaco- 
bites (and, quietly, he wasna far wrang maybe), and that they had 
levied amaist open war, and a king's messenger had been stoppit 
and rubbit on the highway, and that the best bluid o' Northumber- 
land had been at the doing o't — and mickle gowd ta'en aff him, and 
mony valuable papers ; and that there was nae redress to be gotten 
by remeed of law, for the first justice o' the peace that the rubbit 
man gaed to, he had fund the twa loons that did the deed birling 
and drinking wi' him, wha but they ; and the justice took the word 
o' the tane for the compearance o' the tither ; and that they e'en 
gae him leg-bail, and the honest man that had lost his siller was 
fain to leave the country for fear that waur had come of it." 

" Can this be really true? " said I. 

" Pate swears it's as true as that his ellwand is a yard lang — 
(and so it is, just bating an inch, that it may meet the English 
measure) — And when the chield had said his warst, there was a 
terrible cry for names, and out comes he wi' this man Morris's 
name, and your uncle's, and Squire Inglewood's, and other folk's 
beside " (looking sly at me) — " And then another dragon o' a chield 
got up on the other side, and said, wad they accuse the best gentle- 
men in the land on the oath of a broken coward ? — for it's like that 
Morris had been drummed out o' the army for rinning awa in 
Flanders ; and he said, it-was like the story had been made up 
between the minister and him or ever he had left Lunnun ; and 
that, if there was to be a search-warrant granted, he thought the 

158 , ROB ROY. 

siller wad be fund some gate near to St. James's Palace. Aweel; 
they trailed up Morris to their bar, as they ca't, to see what he 
could say to the job ; but the folk that were again him, gae him sic 
an awfu' thoroughgaun about his rinnin' awa, and about a' the ill he 
had ever dune or said for a' the forepart o' his life, that Patie says 
he looked mair like ane dead than living ; and they cou'dna get a 
word o' sense out o' him, for downright fright at their growling and 
routing. He maun be a saft sap, wi' a head nae better than a fozy 
frosted turnip — it wad hae ta'en a hantle o' them to scaur Andrew 
Fairservice out o' his tale." 

" And how did it all end, Andrew ? did your friend happen to 

" Ou, ay ; for as his walk's in this country, Pate put aff his 
journey for the space of a week or thereby, ' because it wad be 
acceptable to his customers to bring doun the news. It just a' 
gaed aff like moonshine in water. The fallow that began it drew 
in his horns, and said, that though he believed the man had been 
rubbit, yet he acknowledged he might hae been mista'en about the 
particulars. And then the other chield got up, and said, he cared 
na whether Morris was rubbed or no, provided it wasna to become 
a stain on ony gentleman's honour and reputation, especially in the 
north of England ; for, said he before them, I come frae the north 
mysell, and I carena a boddle wha kens it. And this is what they 
ca' explaining — the tane gies up a bit, and the tither gies up a bit, 
and a' friends again. Aweel, after the Commons' Parliament had 
tuggit, and rived, and rugged at Morris and his rubbery till they 
were tired o't, the Lords' Parliament they behoved to hae their 
spell o't. In puir auld Scotland's Parliament they a' sate thegither, 
cheek by choul, and than they didna need to hae the same blethers 
twice ower again. But till't their lordships went wi' as muckle teeth 
and gude-will, as if the matter had been a' speck and span new. 
Forbye, there was something said about ane Campbell, that suld 
hae been concerned in the rubbery, mair or less, and that he suld 
hae had a warrant frae the Duke of Argyle, as a testimonial o' his 
character. And this put MacCallum More's beard in a bleize, as 
gude reason there was ; and he gat up wi' an unco bang, and garr'd 
them 'a look about them, and wad ram it even doun their throats, 
there was never ane o' the Campbells but was as wight, wise, war- 
like, and worthy trust, as auld Sir John the Graeme. Now, if your 
honour's sure ye arena a drap's bluid a-kin to a Campbell, as I am 
nane mysell, sae far as I can count my kin, or hae had it counted 
to me, I'll gie ye my mind on that matter." 

" You may be assured I have no connexion whatever with any 
gentleman of that name." 

ROB ROY. 159 

"Oil, than we may speak it quietly amang oursells. There's 
baith gude and bad o' the Campbells, like other names. But this 
MacCallum More has an unco sway and say baith, amang the grit 
folk at Lunnun even now ; for he canna preceesely be said to belang 
to ony o' the twa sides o' them, sae deil ane o' them likeito quarrel 
wi' him ; sae they e'en voted Morris's tale a fause calumnious libel, 
as they ca't, and if he hadna gien , them leg-bail, he was likely to 
hae ta'en the air on the pillory for leasing-making." 

So speaking, honest Andrew collected his dibbles, spades, and 
hoes, and threw them into a wheelbarrow, — leisurely, however, and 
allowing me full time to put any further questions which might 
occur to me before he trundled them off to the tool-house, there to 
repose during the ensuing day. I thought it best to speak out at 
once, lest this meddling fellow should suppose there were more 
weighty reasons for my silence than actually existed. 

" I should like to see this countryman of yours, Andrew ; and to 
hear his news from himself directly. You have probably heard that 
I had some trouble from the impertinent folly of this man Morris " 
(Andrew grinned a rriost significant grin), " and I should wish 
to see your cousin the merchant, to ask him the particulars of 
what he heard in London, if it could be done without much 

" Naething mair easy," Andrew observed ; "he had but to hint 
to his cousin that. I wanted a pair or twa o' hose, and he wad bewi' 
me as fast as he could lay leg to the grund." 

" O yes, assure him I shall be a customer; and as the night is, 
as you say, settled and fair, I shall walk in the garden until he 
comes ; the moon will soon rise over the fells. You may bring him 
him to the little back-gate ; and I shall have pleasure, in the mean- 
while, in looking on the bushes and evergreens by the bright frosty 

"Vara richt — vara richt — that's what I hae aften said; a kail- 
blaid, or a colliflour, glances sae glegly by moonlicht, it's like a 
leddy in her diamonds." ' 

So saying, off went Andrew Fairservice with great glee. He had 
to walk about two miles, a labour he undertook with the greatest 
pleasure, in order to secure to his kinsman the sale of some articles 
of his trade, though it is " probable he would not have given him 
sixpence to treat him to a quart of ale. " The good-will of an 
Englishman would have displayed itself in a manner exactly the 
reverse of Andrew's," thought I, as I paced along the smooth-cut 
velvet walks, which, embowered with high hedges of yew and of 
holly, intersected the ancient garden of Osbaldistone-Hall. 

As I turned to retrace my steps, it was natural that I should lift 

i6o ROB ROY. 

up my eyes to the windows of the old library ; which, small in size, 
but several in number, stretched along the second story of that side 
of the house which now faced me. Light glanced from their case- 
ments. I was not surprised at this, for I knew Miss Vernon often 
sat there of an evening, though from motives of delicacy I put a 
strong restraint upon myself, and never sought to join her at a 
time when I knew, all the rest of the family being engaged for the 
evening, our interviews must necessarily have been strictly tHe-a- 
tite. In the mornings we usually read together in the same room ; 
but then it often happened that one or other of our cousins entered 
to seek some parchment duodecimo that could be converted into a 
fishing-book, despite its gildings and illumination, or to tell us of 
some " sport toward," or from mere want of knowing where else to 
dispose of themselves. In short, in the mornings the library was a 
sort of public room, where man and woman might meet as on 
neutral ground. In the evening it was very different ; and, bred in 
a country where much attention is paid, or was at least then paid, 
to biensiance, I was desirous to think for Miss Vernon concerning 
those points of propriety where her experience did not afford her 
the means of thinking for herself I made her therefore comprehend, 
as delicately as I could, that when we had evening lessons, the pre- 
sence of a third party was proper. 

Miss Vernon first laughed, then blushed, and was disposed to be 
displeased ; and then, suddenly checking herself, said, " I believe 
you are very right ; and when I feel inclined to be a very busy 
scholar, I will bribe old Martha with a cup of tea to sit by me and 
be my screen." 

Martha, the old housekeeper, partook of the taste of the family 
at the Hall. A toast and tankard would have pleased her better 
than all the tea in China. However, as the use of this beverage 
was then confined to the higher ranks, Martha felt some vanity in 
being asked to partake of it ; and by dint of a great deal of sugar, 
many words scarce less sweet, and abundance of toast and butter, 
she was som.etimes prevailed upon to give us her countenance. On 
other occasions, the servants almost unanimously shunned the 
library after nightfall, because it was their foolish pleasure to 
believe that it lay on the haunted side of the house. The more 
timorous had seen sights and heard sounds there when all the rest 
of the house was quiet ; and even the young squires were far from 
having any wish to enter these formidable precincts after nightfall 
without necessity. 

That the library had at one time been a favourite resource of 
Rashleigh — that a private door out of one side of it communicated 
with the sequestered and remote apartment which he chose for 

ROB ROY. l6i 

himself, rather increased than disarmed the terrors which the 
household had for the dreaded library of Osbaldistone-Hall. His 
extensive information as to what passed in the world — his profound 
knowledge of science of every kind — a few physical experiments 
which he occasionally showed off, were, in a house of so much 
ignorance and bigotry, esteemed good reasons for supposing him 
endowed with powers over the spiritual world. He understood 
Greek, Latin, and Hebrew ; and, therefore, according to the appre- 
hension, and in the phrase of his brother Wilfred, needed not to 
care " for ghaist or barghaist, devil or dobbie." Yea, the servants 
persisted that they had heard him hold conversations in the library, 
when every varsal soul in the family were gone to bed ; and that 
he spent the night in watching for bogles, and the morning in 
sleeping in his bed, when he should have been heading the hounds 
like a true Osbaldistone. 

All these absurd rumours I had heard in broken hints and im- 
perfect sentences, from which I was left to draw the inference ; and, 
as easily may be supposed, I laughed them to scorn. But the ex- 
treme solitude to which this chamber of evil fame was committed 
every night after curfew time, was an additional reason why I 
should not intrude on Miss Vernon when she chose to sit there in 
the evening. 

To resume what I was saying, I was not surprised to see a glim- 
mering of light from the library windows ; but I was a little struck 
when I distinctly perceived the shadows of two persons pass along 
and intercept the light from the first of the windows, throwing the 
casement for a moment into shade. " It must be old Martha," 
thought I, " whom Diana has engaged to be her companion for the 
evening ; or I must have been mistaken, and taken Diana's shadow 
for a second person. No, by Heaven ! it appears on the second 
window, — two figures distinctly traced ; and now it is lost again — 
it is seen on the third — on the fourth — the darkened forms of two 
persons distinctly seen in each window as they pass along the 
room, betwixt the windows and the lights. Whom can Diana have 
got for a companion ? " — The passage of the shadows between the 
lights and the casements was twice repeated, as if to satisfy 
me that my observation served me truly ; after which the lights 
were extinguished, and the shades, of course, were seen no 

Trifling as this circumstance was, it occupied my mind for a 
considerable time. I did not allow myself to suppose that my 
friendship for Miss Vernon had any directly selfish view ; yet it is 
incredible the displeasure I felt at the idea of her admitting any one 
to private interviews, at a time, and in a place, where, for her own 


i62 ROB ROY. 

sake, I had been at some trouble to show her that it was improper 
for me to meet with her. 

" Silly, romping, incorrigible girl ! " said I to myself, " on whom 
all good advice and delicacy are thrown away ! I have been cheated 
by the simplicity of her manner, which I suppose she can assume 
just as she could a straw bonnet, were it the fashion, for the mere 
sake of celebrity. I suppose, notwithstanding the excellence of her 
understanding, the society of half a dozen of clowns to play at whisk 
and swabbers, would give her more pleasure than if Ariosto himself 
were to awake from the dead." . 

This reflection came the' more powerfully across my mind, be- 
cause, having mustered up courage to show to Diana my version 
pf the first books of Ariosto, I had requested her to invite Martha 
to a tea-party in the library that evening, to which arrangement 
' Miss Vernon had refused her consent, alleging some apology which 
I thought frivolous at the time. I had not long speculated on this 
disagreeable subject, when the back garden-door opened, and the 
figures of Andrew and his countryman, bending under his pack, 
crossed the moonlight alley, and called my attention elsewhere. 

I found Mr. Macready, as I expected, a tough, sagacious, long- 
headed Scotchman, and a collector of news both from choice and 
profession. He was able to give me a distinct account of what had 
passed in the House of Commons and House of Lords on the affair 
of Morris, which, it appears, had been made by both parties a touch- 
stone to ascertain the temper of the Parliament. It appeared also, 
that, as I had learned from Andrew by second hand, the ministry had 
proved too weak to support a story involving the character of men 
of rank and importance, and resting upon the credit of a person of 
such indifferent fame as Morris, who was, moreover, confused and 
contradictory in his mode of telling the story. Macready was even 
able to supply me with a copy of a printed journal or News-Letter, 
seldom extending beyond the capital, in which the substance of the 
debate was mentioned ; and with a copy of the Duke of Argyle's speech, 
printed upon a broadside, of which he had purchased several from 
the hawkers, because, he said, it would be a saleable article on the 
north of the Tweed. The first was a meagre statement, full of 
blanks and asterisks, and which added little or nothing to the 
information I had from the Scotchman ; and the Duke's speech, 
though spirited and eloquent, contained chiefly a panegyric on his 
country, his family, and his clan, with a few compliments, equally 
sincere, perhaps, though less glowing, which he took so favourable 
an opportunity of paying to himself. I could not learn whether my 
own reputation had been directly implicated, although I perceived 
that the honour of my uncle's family had been impeached, and that 

ROB ROY. 163 

this person Campbell, stated by Morris to have been the most 
active robber of the two by whom he was assailed, was said by him 
to have appeared in the behalf of a Mr. Osbaldistone, and by the 
connivance of the Justice, procured his liberation. In this particu- 
lar, Morris's story jumped with my own suspicions, which had 
attached to Campbell from the moment I saw him appear at Justice 
Inglewood's. Vexed upon the whole, as well as perplexed, with 
this extraordinary story, I dismissed the two Scotchmen, after 
making some purchases from Macready, and a small compliment to 
Fairservice, and retired to my own apartment to consider what I 
ought to do in defence of my character thus publicly attacked. 


Whence, and what art thou ? 


After exhausting a sleepless night in meditating on the intelli- 
gence I had received, I was at first inclined to think that I ought, 
as speedily as possible, to return to London, and by my open ap- 
pearance repel the calumny which had been spread against me. 
But I hesitated to take this course on recollection of my father's 
disposition, singularly absolute in his decisions as to all that con- 
cerned his family. He was most able, certainly, from experience, 
to direct what I ought to do, and from his acquaintance with the 
most distinguished Whigs then in power, had influence enough to 
obtain a hearing for my cause. So, upon the whole, I judged it 
most safe to state my whole story in the shape of a narrative, 
addressed to my father ; and as the ordinary opportunities of 
intercourse between the Hall and the post-town recurred rarely, 
I determined to ride to the town, which was about ten miles' 
distance, and deposit my letter in the post-ofHce with my own 

Indeed I began to think it strange, that though several weeks 
had elapsed since my departure from home, I had received no 
letter, either from my father or Owen, although Rashleigh had 
written to Sir Hildebrand of his safe arrival in London, and of the 
kind reception he had met with from his uncle. Admitting that I 
might have been to blame, I did not deserve, in my own opinion 
at least, to be so totally forgotten by my father ; and I thought my 
present excursion might have the effect of bringing a letter from 
him to hand more early than it would otherwise have reached me. 
But before concluding my letter concerning the affair of Morris, 
I failed not to express my earnest hope and wish that my father 

L 2 

i64 ROB ROY. 

would honour me with a few lines, were it but to express his advice 
and commands in an affair of some difficulty, and where my know- 
ledge of life could not be supposed adequate to my own guidance. 
I found it impossible to prevail on myself to urge my actual return 
to London as a place of residence, and I disguised my unwilling- 
ness to do so under apparent submission to my father's will, which, 
as I imposed it on myself as a sufficient reason for not urging my 
final departure from Osbaldistone-Hall, would, I doubted not, be 
received as such by my parent. But I begged permission to come 
to London, for a short time at least, to meet and refute the infamous 
calumnies which had been circulated concerning me in so public a 
manner. Having made up my packet, in which my earnest desire 
to vindicate my character was strangely blended with reluctance to 
quit my present place of residence, I rode over to the post-town, 
and deposited my letter in the office. By doing so, I obtained 
possession, somewhat earlier than I should otherwise have done, 
of the following letter from my friend Mr/ Owen : — 

" Dear Mr. Francis, 
"Yours received per favour of Mr. ft.. Osbaldistone, and note the 
contents. Shall do Mr. R. O. such civilities as are in my power, 
and have taken him to see the Bank and Custom-house. He seems 
a sober, steady young gentleman, and takes to business ; so will be 
of service to the firm. Could have wished another person had 
turned his mind that way ; but God's will be done. As cash may 
be scarce in those parts, have to trust you will excuse my enclosing 
a goldsmith's bill at six days' sight, on Messrs. Hooper and Girder, 
of Newcastle, for ;£ioo, which I doubt not will be duly honoured. — 
I remain, as in duty bound, dear Mr. Frank, your very respectful 
and obedient servant, "Joseph Owen. 

" Postscrtptum.—^o'pcyovi will advise the above coming safe to 
hand. Am sorry we have so few of yours. Your father says he is 
as usual, but looks poorly." 

From this epistle, written in old Owen's formal style, I was 
rather surprised to observe that he made no acknowledgment of 
that private letter which I had written to him, with a view to possess 
him of Rashleigh's real character, although, from the course of post, 
it seemed certain that he ought to have received it. Yet I had sent it 
by the usual conveyance from the Hall, and had no reason to sus- 
pect that it could miscarry upon the road. As it comprised matters of 
great importance, both to my father and to myself, I sat down in 
the post-office, and again wrote to Owen, recapitulating the heads 
of my former letter, and requesting to know, in course of post, if it 

ROB ROY. 165 

had reached him in safety. I also acknowledged the receipt of the 
bill, and promised to make use of the contents if I should have any 
occasion for money. I thought, indeed, it was odd that my father 
should leave the care of supplying my necessities to his clerk ; but 
I concluded it was a matter arranged between them. At any rate, 
Owen was a bachelor, rich in his way, and passionately attached 
to me, so that I had no hesitation in being obliged to him for a 
small sum, which I resolved to consider as a loan, to be returned 
with my earliest ability, in case it was not previously repaid by my 
father ; and I expressed myself to this purpose to Mr. Owen. A 
shopkeeper in a little town, to whom the postmaster directed me, 
readily gave me in gold the amount of my bill on Messrs. Hooper 
and Girder, so that I returned to Osbaldistone-Hall a good deal 
richer than I had set forth. This recruit to my finances was not a 
matter of indifference to me, as I was necessarily involved in some 
expenses at Osbaldistone-Hall ; and I had seen, with some uneasy 
impatience, that the sum which my travelling expenses had left 
unexhausted at my arrival there, was imperceptibly diminishing. 
This source of anxiety was for the present removed. On my arrival 
at the Hall, I found that Sir Hildebrand and all his offspring had 
gone down to the little hamlet, called Trinlay-knowes, " to see," as 
Andrew Fairservice expressed it, " a wheen midden cocks pike ilk 
ithers harns out." 

" It is indeed a brutal amusement, Andrew ; I suppose you have 
none such in Scotland ? " 

" Na, na," answered Andrew, boldly ; then shaded away his 
negative with, " unless it be on Fastern's-e'en, or the like o' that — 
But indeed it's no muckle matter what the folk do to the midden 
pootry, for they had siccan a skarting and scraping in the yard, that 
there's nae getting a bean or pea keepit for them. — But I am won- 
dering what it is that leaves that turret-door open ; now that Mr. 
Rashleigh's away, it canna be him, I trow." 

The turret-door, to which he alluded, opened to the garden at the 
bottom of a winding-stair, leading down from Mr. Rashleigh's 
apartments. This, as I have already mentioned, was situated in a 
sequestered part of the house, communicating with the library by 
a private entrance, and by another intricate and dark vaulted 
passage with the rest of the house. A long narrow turf walk led, 
between two high holly hedges, from the turret-door to a little 
postern in the wall of the garden. By means of these communica- 
tions, Rashleigh, whose movements were very independent of those 
of the rest of his family, could leave the Hall or return to it at 
pleasure, without his absence or presence attracting any observa- 
tion. But during his absence the stair and the turret-door were 

166 ROB ROY. 

entirely disused, and this made Andrew's observation somewhat 

" Have you often observed that door open ? " was my question. 

" No just that often neither ; but I hae noticed it ance or twice. 
I'm thinking it maun hae been the priest, Father Vaughan, as they 
ca' him. Ye'll no catch ane o' the servants ganging up that stair, 
puir frightened heathens that they are, for fear of bogles and 
brownies, and lang-nebbit things frae the neist warld. But Father 
Vaughan thinks himself a privileged person — set him up and lay 
him down ! — I'se be caution the warst stibbler that ever stickit a 
sermon out ower the Tweed yonder, wad lay a ghaist twice as fast 
as him, wi' his holy water and his idolatrous trinkets. I dinna 
believe he speaks gude Latin neither ; at least he disna take me up 
when I tell him the learned names o' the plants." 

Of Father Vaughan, who divided his time and his ghostly care 
bfetween Osbaldistone-Hall and about half-a-dozen mansions of 
Catholic gentlemen in the neighbourhood, I have ,as yet said 
nothing, for I had seen but little. He was aged about sixty, of a 
good family, as I was given to understand, in the north ; of a 
striking and imposing presence, grave in his exterior, and much 
respected among the Catholics of Northumberland as a worthy and 
upright man. Yet Father Vaughan did not altogether lack those 
peculiarities wliich distinguish his order. There hung about him 
an air of mystery, which, in Protestant eyes, savoured of priestcraft. 
The natives (such they might be well termed) of Osbaldistone-Hall 
looked up to him with much more fear, or at least more awe, than 
aifection. His condemnation of their revels was evident, from their 
being discontinued in some measure when the priest was a resident 
at the Hall. Even Sir Hildebrand himself put some restraint upon 
his conduct at such times, which, perhaps, rendered Father 
Vaughan's presence rather irksome than otherwise. He had the 
well-bred, insinuating, and almost flattering address peculiar to the 
clergy of his persuasion, especially in England, where the lay 
Catholic, hemmed in by penal laws, and by the restrictions of his 
sect and recommendation of his palstor, often exhibits a reserved 
and almost a timid manner in the society of Protestants ; while the 
priest, privileged by his order to mingle with persons of aU creeds, 
is open, alert, and liberal in his intercourse with them, desirous of 
popularity, and usually skilful in the mode of obtaining it. 

Father Vaughan was a particular acquaintance of Rashleigh's, 
otherwise, in aU probability, he would scarce have been able to 
maintain his footing at Osbaldistone-Hall. This gave me no desire 
to cultivate his intimacy, nor did he seem to make any advances 
towards mine ; so our occasional intercourse was confined to the 

ROB ROY. 167 

exchange of mere civility. I considered it as extremely probable 
tfcat Mr. Vaughan might occupy Rashleigh's apartment during his 
occasional residence at the Hall ; and his profession rendered it 
likely that he should occasionally be a tenant of the library. 
Nothing was more probable than that it might have been his candle 
which had excited my attention on a preceding evening. This led 
me involuntarily to recollect that the intercourse between Miss 
Vernon and the priest was marked with something like the same 
mystery which characterized her communications with Rashleigh. 
I had never heard her mention Vaughan's name, or even allude to 
him, excepting on the occasion of our first meeting, when she men- 
tioned the old priest and Rashleigh as the only conversible beings, 
besides herself, in Osbaldistone-Hall. Yet although silent with 
respect to Father Vaughan, his arrival at the Hall never failed to 
impress Miss Vernon with an anxious and fluttering tremor, which 
lasted until they had exchanged one or two significant glances. 

Whatever the mystery might be which overclouded the destinies 
of this beautiful and interesting female, it was clear that Father 
Vaughan wis implicated in it ; unless, indeed, I could suppose 
that he was the agent employed to procure her settlement in the 
cloister, in the event of her rejecting a union with either of my 
cousins, — an office which would sufficiently account for her ob- 
vious emotion at his appearance. As to the restj they did not 
seem to converse much together, or even to seek each other's 
society. Their league, if any subsisted between them, was of a 
tacit and understood nature, operating on their actions without 
any necessity of speech. I recollected, however, on reflection, 
that I had once or twice discovered signs pass betwixt them, which 
I had at the time supposed to bear reference to some hint concern- 
ing Miss Vernon's religious observances, knowing how artfully the 
Catholic clergy maintain, at all times and seasons, their influence 
over the minds of their followers. But now I was disposed to 
assign to these communications a deeper and more mysterious 
import. Did he hold private meetings with Miss Vernon in the 
library ? was a question which occupied my thoughts ; and if so, 
for what purpose ? And why should she have admitted an intimate 
of the deceitful Rashleigh to such close confidence ? 

These questions and difficulties pressed on my mind with an 
interest which was greatly increased by the impossibility of re- 
solving them. I had already begun to suspect that my friendship 
for Diana Vernon was not; altogether so disinterested as in wisdom 
it ought to have been. I had already felt myself becoming jealous 
of the contemptible lout Thorncliff, and taking more notice, than 
in prudence or dignity of feeling I ought to have done, of his silly 

l68 ROB ROY. 

attempts to provoke me. And now I was scrutinizing the conduct 
of Miss Vernon with the most close and eager observation, whicA 
I in vain endeavoured to palm on myself as the offspring of idle 
curiosity. All these, like Benedick's brushing his hat of a morning, 
were signs that the sweet youth was in love ; and while my judg- 
ment still denied that I had been guilty of forming an attachment 
so imprudent, she resembled those ignorant guides, who, when they 
have led the traveller and themselves into irretrievable error, 
persist in obstinately affirming it to be impossible that they/can 
have missed the way. / 


" It happened one day about noon, going to my boat, I was ex- 
ceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked fpot on the 
shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand." / 

Robinson Crusoe. 

With the blended feelings of interest and jealousy which were 
engendered by Miss Vernon's singular situation, my observations 
of her looks and actions became acutely sharpened, knd that to a 
degree which, notwithstanding my efforts to conceal/ it, could not 
escape her penetration. The sense that she was /observed, or, 
more properly speaking, that she was watched by my looks, seemed 
to give Diana a mixture of embarrassment, pain, and pettishness. 
At times it seemed that she sought an opportunity of resenting a 
conduct which she could not but feel as offensive, considering the 
frankness with which she had mentioned the difficulties that sur- 
rounded her. At other times she seemed prepared to expostulate 
upon the subject. But either her courage failed, or some other 
sentiment impeded her seeking an eclaircissement. Her displea- 
sure evaporated in repartee, and her expostulations died on her 
lips. We stood in a singular relation to each other, spending, 
and by mutual choice, much of our time in close society with each 
other, yet disguising our mutual sentiments, and jealous of, or 
offended by, each other's actions. There was betwixt us intimacy 
without confidence ; on one side, love without hope or purpose, 
and curiosity without any rational or justifiable motive ; and on 
the other, embarrassment and doubt, occasionally mingled with 
displeasure. Yet I believe that this agitation of the passions (such 
is the nature of the human bosom), as it continued by a thousand 
irritating and interesting, though petty circumstances, • to render 
Miss Vernon and me the constant objects of each other's thoughts, 
tended, upon the whole, to increase the attachment with which we 

ROB ROY, 169 

were naturally disposed to regard each other. But although my 
vanity early discovered that my presence at Osbaldistone-Hall had 
given Diana some additional reason for disliking the cloister, I 
could by no means confide in an affection which seemed completely 
subordinate to the mysteries of her singular situation. Miss 
Vernon was of a character far too formed and determined, to 
permit her love for me to overpower either her sense of duty or of 
prudence, and she gave me a proof of this in a conversation which 
we had together about this period. 

We were sitting together in the library. Miss Vernon, in turn- 
ing over a copy of the Orlando Furioso, which belonged to me, 
shook a piece of written paper from between the leaves. I hastened 
to lift it, but she prevented me. 

" It is verse," she said, on glancing at the paper ; and then un- 
folding it, but as if to wait my answer before proceeding — " May I 
take the liberty ? — nay, nay, if you blush and stammer, I must do 
violence to your modesty, and suppose that permission is granted." 

" It is not worthy your perusal — a scrap of a translation — My 
dear Miss Vernon, it would be too severe a trial, that you, who 
understand the original so well, should sit in judgment." 

" Mine honest friend," replied Diana, " do not, if you will be 
guided by my advice, bait your hook with too much humility ; for, 
ten to one, it will not catch a single compliment. You know I 
belong to the unpopular family of Tell-truths, and would not flatter 
Apollo for his lyre." 

She proceeded to read the first stanza, which was, nearly to the 
following purpose : — 

" Ladies, and knights, and arms, and love's fair flame. 

Deeds of emprize and courtesy, I sing ; 
What time the Moors from sultry Africk carne, 

Led on by Agramant, their youthful king — 
He whom revenge and hasty ire did bring 

O'er the broad wave, in France to waste and war ; 
Such ills from old Trojano's death did spring. 

Which to avenge he came from realms afar, 
And menaced Christian Charles, the Roman Emperor. 

" Of dauntless Roland, too, my strain shall sound, 
In import never known in prose or rhyme, 
How He, the chief, of judgment deem'd profound, 
For luckless love was crazed upon a time, — " 

" There is a great deal of it," said she, glancing along the paper, 
and interrupting the sweetest sounds which mortal ears can drink 
in, — those of a youthful poet's verses, namely, read by the lips 
which are dearest to them. 


" Much more than ought to engage your attention, Miss Vernon,'' 
I replied, something mortified ; and I took the verses from her un- 
reluctant hand — " And yet," I continued, " shut up as I am in this 
retired situation. I have felt sometimes I could not amuse myself 
better than by carrying on, merely for my own amusement, you 
will of course understand, the version of this fascinating author, 
which I began some months since, when I was on the banks of the 

" The question would only be," said Diana, gravely, " whether 
you could not spend your time to better purpose?" 

" You mean in original composition ?" said I, greatly flattered ; 
"but, to say truth, my genius rather lies in finding words and 
rhymes than ideas ; and therefore I am happy to use those which 
Ariosto has prepared to my hand. However, Miss Vernon, with 
the encouragement you give " 

" Pardon me, Frank ; it is encouragement not of my giving, but 
of your taking. I meant neither original composition nor transla- 
tion, since I think you might employ your time to far better purpose 
than in either. You are mortified," she continued, "and I am 
sorry to be the cause." 

" Not mortified, — certainly not mortified," said I, with the best 
grace I could muster, and it was but indifferently assumed ; " I am 
too much obliged by the interest you take in me." 

" Nay, but," resumed the relentless Diana, " there is both morti- 
ification and a little grain of anger in that constrained tone of voice ; 
do not be angry if I probe your feelings to the bottom — perhaps 
what I am about to say will affect them still more." 

I felt the childishness of my own conduct, and the superior 
manliness of Miss Vernon's, and assured her, that she need not 
fear my wincing under criticism which I knew to be kindly meant. 

" That was honestly meant and said," she replied ; " I knew full 
well that the flfend of poetical irritability flew away with the little 
preluding cough which ushered in the declaration. And now I 
must be serious. — Have you heard from your father lately?" 

" Not a word," I replied ; " he has not honoured me with a single 
line during the several months of my residence here." 

" That is strange ! — ^you are a singular race, you bold Osbal- 
distones. Then you are not aware that he has gone to Holland, to 
arrange some pressing affairs which required his own immediate 

" I never heard a word of it until this moment." 

" And farther, it must be news to you, and I presume scarcely 
the most agreeable, that he has left Rashleigh in the almost un- 
.controlled management of his affairs until his return ?" 

ROB ROY. 171 - 

I started, and could not suppress my surprise and apprehension. 

" You liave reason for alarm," said Miss Vernon, very gravely ; 
" and were I you, I would endeavour to meet and obviate the 
dangers which arise from so undesirable an arrangement." 

" And how is it possible for me to do so ?" 

" Everything is possible for him who possesses courage and 
activity," she said, with a look resembling one of those heroines of 
the age of chivalry, whose encouragment was wont to give cham- 
pions double valour at the hour of need ; " and to the timid and 
hesitating, everything is impossible, because it seems so." 

"And what would you advise, Miss Vernon?" I replied, wishing, 
yet dreading, to hear her answer. 

She paused a moment, then answered firmly — " That you in- 
stantly leave Osbaldlstone-HaU, and return to London. You have 
perhaps already," she continued, in a softer tone, " been here too 
long; that fault was not yours. Every succeeding moment you 
waste here will be a crime. Yes, a crime : for I tell you plainly, 
that if Rashleigh long manages your father's affairs, you may con- 
sider his ruin as consummated." 

" How is this possible ?" 

" Ask no questions," she said ; " but, believe me, Rashleigh's 
views extend far beyond the possession or increase of commercial 
wealth : he will only make the command of Mr. Osbaldistone's 
revenues and property the means of putting in motion his own 
ambitious and extensive schemes. While your father was in 
Britain this was impossible ; during his absence, Rashleigh will 
possess many opportunities, and he will not neglect to use them." 

" But how can I, in disgrace with my father, and divested of all 
control over his affairs, prevent this danger by my mere presence 
in London ?" 

"That presence alone will do much. Your claim to interfere is 
a part of your birthright, and is inalienable. You will have the 
countenance, doubtless, of your father's head-clerk, and confidential 
friends and partners. Above all, Rashleigh's schemes are of a 
nature that" — (she stopped abruptly, as if fearful of saying too 
much) — " are, in short," she resumed, " of a nature of all selfish 
and unconscientious plans, which are speedily abandoned as soon 
as those who frame them perceive their arts are discovered and 
watched. Therefore, in the language of your favourite poet — 

' To horse ! to horse ! Urge doubts to those that fear.' " 

A feeling, irresistible in its impulse, induced me to reply — " Ah ! 
Diana, can you give me advice to leave Osbaldistone-Hall ? — then 
indeed I have already been a resident here too long !" 

172 ROB ROY. 

Miss Vemon coloured, but proceeded with great firmness : " In- 
deed, I do give you this advice— not only to quit Osbaldistone-Hall, 
but never to return to it more. You have only one friend to regret 
here," she continued, forcing a smile, " and she has been long ac- 
customed to sacrifice her friendships and her comforts to the wel- 
fare of others. In the world you will ineet a hundred whose friend- 
ship will be as disinterested— more useful — less encumbered by 
untoward circumstances — less influenced by evil tongues and evil 

" Never ! " I exclaimed, " never ! — the world can afford me 
nothing to repay what I must leave behind me." Here I took her 
hand and pressed it to my lips. 

" This is folly ! " she exclaimed—" This is madness !" and she 
struggled to withdraw her hand from my grasp, but not so stub- 
bornly as actually to succeed until I had held it for nearly a 
minute. "Hear me, sir ! " she said, "and curb this unmanly 
burst of passion. I am, by a solemn contract, the bride of Heaven, 
unless I could prefer beipg wedded to villany in the person of 
Rashleigh Osbaldistone, or brutality in that of his brother. I am, 
therefore, the bride of Heaven, betrothed to the convent from the 
cradle. To me, therefore, these raptures are misapplied — they 
only serve to prove a further necessity for your departure, and that 
without delay." At these words she broke suddenly off, and said, 
but in a suppressed tone of voice, " Leave me instantly — we will 
meet here again, but it must be for the last time." 

My eyes followed the direction of hers as she spoke, and I 
thought I saw the tapestry shake, which covered the door of the 
secret passage from Rashleigh's room to the library. I conceived 
we were observed, and turned an inquiring glance on Miss Vernon. 

" It is nothing," said she, faintly, " a rat behind the arras." 

" Dead for a ducat," would have been my reply, had I dared to 
give way to the feelings which rose indignant at the idea of being 
subjected to an eavesdropper on such an occasion. Prudence, and 
the necessity of suppressing my passion, and obeying Diana's 
reiterated command of " Leave me ! leave me ! " came in time to 
prevent any rash action. I left the apartment in a wild whirl 
and giddiness of mind, which I in vain attempted to compose 
when I returned to my own. 

A chaos of thoughts intruded themselves on me at once, passing 
hastily through my brain, intercepting and overshadowing each 
other, and resembling those fogs which in jnountainous countries 
are wont to descend in obscure volumes, and disfigure or obliterate 
the usual marks by which the traveller steers his course through 
the wilds. The dark and undefined idea of danger arising to my 

ROB ROY. 173 

father from the machinations of such a man as Rashleigh Obaldi- 
stone — the half-declaration of love which I had offered to Miss 
Vernon's acceptance — the acknowledged difficulties of her situa- 
tion, bound by a previous contract to sacrifice herself to a cloister 
or to an ill-assorted marriage, — all pressed themselves at once upon 
my recollection, while my judgment was unable deliberately to 
consider any of them in their just light and bearings. But chiefly 
and above all the rest, I was perplexed by the manner in which 
Miss Vernon had received my tender of affection, and by her 
manner, which, fluctuating betwixt sympathy and firmness, seemed 
to intimate that I possessed an interest in her bosom, but not of 
force sufficient to counterbalance the obstacles to her avowing a 
mutual affection. The glance of fear, rather than surprise, with 
which she had watched the motion of the tapestry over the con- 
cealed door, implied an apprehension of danger which I could not 
but suppose well grounded ; for Diana Vernon was little subject to 
the nervous emotions of her sex, and totally unapt to fear without 
actual and rational cause. Of what nature could those mysteries 
be, with which she was surrounded as with an enchantet's spell, 
and which seemed continually to exert an active influence over her 
thoughts and actions, though their agents were never visible .'' On 
this subject of doubt my mind finally rested, as if glad to shake 
itself free from investigating the propriety or prudence of my own 
conduct, by transferring the inquiry to what concerned Miss 
Vernon. I will be resolved, I concluded, ere I leave Obaldistone- 
Hall, concerning the light in which I must in future regard this 
fascinating being, over whose life frankness and mystery seem to 
have divided their reign, the former inspiring her words and senti- 
ments, the latter spreading in misty ipfluence over all her actions. 

Joined to the obvious interests which arose from curiosity and 
anxious passion, there mingled in my feelings a strong though 
unavowed and undefined infusion of jealousy. This sentiment, 
which springs up with love as naturally as the tares with the wheat, 
was excited by the degree of influence which Diana appeared to 
concede to those unseen beings by whom her actions were limited. 
The more I reflected upon her character, the more I was internally 
though unwillingly convinced, that she was formed to set at 
defiance all control, excepting that which arose from affection ; 
and I felt a strong, bitter, and gnawing suspicion, that such was 
the foundation of that influence by which she was overawed. 

These tormenting doubts strengthened my desire to penetrate 
into the secret of Miss Vernon's conduct, and in the prosecution of 
this sage adventure, I formed a resolution, of which, if you are not 
weary of these details, you will find the result in the next Chapter. 

174 ROB ROY. 


I hear a voice you cannot hear, 

Which says I must not stay ; 
I see a hand you cannot see, 

Which beckons me away. TiCKELL. 

I HAVE already told you, Tresham, if you deign to bear it in 
remembrance, that my evening visits to the library had seldom 
been made except by appointment, and under the sanction of old 
Dame Martha's presence. This, however, was entirely a tacit con- 
ventional arrangement of my own instituting. Of late, as the em- 
barrassments of our relative situation had increased, Miss Vernon 
and I had never met in the evening at all. She had therefore no 
reason to suppose that I was likely to seek a renewal of these 
interviews, and especially without some previous notice or appoint- 
ment betwixt us, that Martha might,' as usual, be placed upon 
duty ; but, on the other hand, this cautionary provision was a 
matter of understanding, not of express enactment. The library 
was open to me, as to the other members of the family, at all hours 
of the day and night, and I could not be accused of intrusion, 
however suddenly and unexpectedly I might make my appearance 
in it. ~ My belief was strong that in this apartment Miss Vernon 
occasionally received Vaughan, or some other person, by whose 
opinion she was accustomed to regulate her conduct, and that at 
the times when she could do so with least chance of interruption. 
The lights which gleamed in the library at unusual hours — the 
passing shadows which I had myself remarked — the footsteps, 
which might be traced in the morning dew from the turret-door to 
the postern-gate in the garden — sounds and sights which some of 
the servants, and Andrew Fairservice in particular, had observed, 
and accounted for in their own way, — all tended to show that the 
place was visited by someone different from the ordinary inmates 
of the haU. Connected as this visitant must probably be with the 
fate of Diana Vernon, I did not hesitate to form a plan of dis- 
covering who or what he was, — how far his influence was likely to 
produce good or evil consequences to her on whom he acted ; — 
above aU, though I endeavoured to persuade myself that this was 
a mere subordinate consideration, I desired to know by what 
means this person had acquired or maintained his influence over 
Diana, and whether he ruled over her by fear or by affection. The 
proof that this jealous curiosity was uppermost in my mind, arose 
from my imagination always ascribing Miss Vernon's conduct to 


the influence of some one individual agent, although, for aught 1 
knew about the matter, her advisers might be as numerous as 
Legion. I remarked this over and over to myself ; but I found 
that my mind still settled back in my original conviction, that one 
single individual, of the masculine sex, and in all probability young 
and handsome, was at the bottom of Miss Vernon's conduct ; and 
it was with a burning desire of discovering, or rather of detecting, 
such a rival, that I stationed myself in the garden to watch the 
moment when the lights should appear in the libraiy windows. 

So eager, however, was my impatience, that I commenced my 
watch for a phenomenon, which could not appear until darkness, a 
full hour before the daylight disappeared, on a July evening. It was 
Sabbath; and all the walks were still and solitary. I walked up 
and down for some time, enjoying the refreshing coolness of a 
summer evening, and meditating on the probable consequences of 
my enterprise. The fresh and balmy air of the garden, impreg- 
nated with fragrance, produced its usual sedative effects on my 
over-heated and feverish blood ; as these took place, the turmoil 
of my mind began proportionally to abate, and I was led to ques- 
tion the right I had to interfere with Miss Vernon's secrets, or with 
those of my uncle's family. What was it to me whom my uncle 
might choose to conceal in his house, where I was myself a guest 
only by tolerance ? And what title had I to pry into the affairs of 
Miss Vernon, fraught, as she had avowed them to be, with mystery, 
into which she desired no scrutiny? 

Passion and self-will were ready with their answers to these 
questions. In detecting this secret, I was in all probability about 
to do service to Sir Hildebrand, who was probably ignorant of the 
intrigues carried on in his family ; and a still more important 
service to Miss Vernon, whose frank simplicity of character 
exposed her to so many risks in maintaining a private corres- 
pondence, perhaps with a person of doubtful or dangerous cha- 
racter. If I seemed to intrude myself on her confidence, it was 
with the generous and disinterested (yes, I even ventured to call it 
the disinterested) intention of guiding, defending, and protecting 
her against craft — against malice, — above all, against the secret 
counsellor whom she had chosen for her confidant. Such were the 
arguments which my will boldly preferred to my conscience, as 
coin which ought to be current ; and which conscience, like a 
grumbling shopkeeper, was contented to accept, rather than come 
to an open breach with a customer, though more ihan doubting 
that the tender was spurious. 

While I paced the green alleys, debating these things pro and 
con,, I suddenly lighted upon Andrew Fairservice, perched up, like a 

176 ROB ROY. 

Statue by a range of bee-hives, in an attitude of devout contempla- 
tion, one eye, however, watching the motions of the Httle irritable 
citizens, who were settling in their straw-thatched mansion for the 
evening, and the other fixed on a book of devotion, which much 
attrition had deprived of its corners, and worn into an oval shape ; 
a circumstance which, with the close print and dingy colour of the 
volume in question, gave it an air of most respectable antiquity. 

" I was e'en takin a spell o' worthy Mess John Quackleben's 
Flower of a Sweet Savour sawn on the Middenstead of this 
World," said Andrew, closing his book at my appearance, and 
putting his horn spectacles, by way of mark, at the place where he 
had been reading. 

" And the bees, I observe, were dividing your attention, Andrew, 
with the learned author ? " 

" They are a contumacious generation," replied the gardener ; 
" they hae sax days in the week to hive on, and yet it 's a common 
observe that they will aye swarm on the Sabbath-day, and keep 
folk at hame frae hearing the word^ — But there's nae preaching at 
Graneagain Chapel the e'en — that's aye ae mercy." 

" You might have gone to the parish church as I did, Andrew, 
and heard an excellent discourse." ' 

" Clauts o' cauld parritch — clauts o' cauld parritch," replied 
Andrew, with a most supercilious sneer, — " gude aneuch for dogs, 
begging your honour's pardon — ^Ay ! I might nae doubt hae heard 
the curate linking awa at it in his white sark yonder, and the 
musicians playing on whistles, mair like a penny-wedding than a 
sermon, and to the boot of that, I might hae gaen to even-song, 
and heard Daddy Docharty mumbling his mass — muckle the 
better I wad hae been o' that." 

" Docharty ! " said I (this was the name of an old priest, an 
Irishman, I think, who sometimes officiated at Osbaldistone-Hall), 
" I thought Father Vaughan had been at the Hall. He was here 

" Ay," replied Andrew, " but he left it yestreen, to gang to Grey- 
stock, or some o' thae west-country haulds. There's an unco stir 
among them a' e'enow. They are as busy as my bees are — God 
sain them ! that I suld even the puir things to the like o' papists. 
Ye see this is the second swarm, and whiles they will swarm off in 
the afternoon. The first swarm set off sune in the morning. But 
I am thinking they are settled in their skeps for the night ; sae 
I wuss your honour good-night, and grace, and muckle o't." 

So saying, Andrew retreated ; but often cast a parting glance 
upon the skeps, as he called the bee-hives. 

I had indirectly gained from him an important piece of infor- 

ROB ROY. 177 

mation, that Father Vaughan, namely, was not supposed to be at 
the Hall. If, therefore, there appeared light in the windows of the 
library this evening, it either could not be his, or he was observing 
a very secret and suspicious line of conduct. I waited with impa- 
tience the time of sunset and of twilight. It had hardly arrived, ere 
a gleam from the windows of the library was seen, dimly distin- 
guishable amidst the still enduring light of the evening. I marked 
its first glimpse, however, as speedily as the benighted sailor descries 
the first distant twinkle of the light-house which marks his course. 
The feelings of doubt and propriety, which had hitherto contended 
with my curiosity and jealousy, vanished when an opportunity of 
gratifying the former was presented to me. I re-entered the house, 
and avoiding the more frequented apartments with the conscious- 
ness of one who wishes to keep his purpose secret, I reached the 
door of the library — hesitated for a moment as my hand was upon 
the latch — heard a suppressed step within — opened the door — and 
found Miss Vernon alone. 

Diana appeared surprised, — whether at my sudden entrance, or 
from some other cause, I could not guess ; but there was in her 
appearance a degree of flutter, which I had never before remarked, 
and which I knew could only be produced by unusual emotion. 
Yet she was calm in a moment ; and such is the force of conscience, 
that I, who studied to surprise her, seemed myself the surprised, 
and was certainly the embarrassed person. 

" Has anything happened ? " said Miss Vernon. " Has any one 
arrived at the Hall ? " 

" No one that I know of," I answered, in some confusion ; " I 
only sought the Orlando." 

" It lies there," said Miss Vernon, pointing to the table. 

In removing one or two books to get at that which I pretended 
to seek, I was, in truth, meditating to make a handsome retreat 
from an investigation, to which I felt my assurance inadequate, 
when I perceived a man's glove lying upon the table. My eyes 
encountered those of Miss Vernon, who blushed deeply. 

" It is one of my relics," she said, with hesitation, replying not to 
my words, but to my looks ; " it is one of the gloves of my grand- 
father, the original of the superb Vandyke which you admire." 

As if she thought something more than her bare assertion was 
necessary to prove her statement true, she opened a drawer of the 
large oaken table, and taking out another glove, threw it towards 
me. When a temper naturally ingenuous stoops to equivocate or 
to dissemble, the anxious pain with which ,the unwonted task is 
laboured, often induces the hearer to doubt the authenticity of the 
tale. I cast a hasty glance on both gloves, and then replied gravely 

178 ROB ROY. 

— " The gloves resemble each other, doubtless, in form and em- 
broidery ; but they cannot form a pair, since they both belong to 
thq right hand." 

She bit her lip with anger, and again coloured deeply. 
" You do right to expose me," she replied, with bitterness : 
" some friends would have only judged from what I said, that 
I chose to give no particular explanation of a circumstance which 
calls for none — at least to a stranger. You have judged better, and 
have made me feel, not only the meanness of duplicity, but my own 
inadequacy to sustain the task of a dissembler. I now tell you 
distinctly, that that glove is not the fellow, as you have acutely 
discerned, to the one which I just now produced, — it belongs to 
a friend yet dearer to me than the original of Vandyke's picture — 
a friend by whose counsels I have been, and will be, guided — whom 

I honour — whom I " She paused. 

I was irritated at her manner, and filled up the blank in my own 
way. " Whom she loves, Miss Vernon would say." 

"And if I do say so," she replied, haughtily, "by whom shall my 
affection be called to account ? " 

" Not by me. Miss Vernon, assuredly. I entreat you to hold me 
acquitted of such presumption. But," I continued, with some 
emphasis, for I was ndw piqued in return, " I hope Miss Vernon 
will pardon a friend, from whom she seems disposed to withdraw 

the title, for observing" 

" Observe nothing, sir," she interrupted, with some vehemence, 
" except that I will neither be doubted nor questioned. There does 
not exist one by whom I will be either interrogated or judged ; and 
if you sought this unusual time of presenting yourself, in order to 
spy upon my privacy, the friendship or interest with which you 
pretend to regard me, is a poor excuse for your uncivil curiosity." 

" I relieve you of my presence," said I, with pride equal to her 
own ; for my temper has ever been a stranger to stooping, even in 
cases where my feelings were most deeply interested—" I relieve 
you of my presence. I awake from a pleasant, but a most delusive 
dream ; and — but we understand each other." 

I had reached the door of the apartment, when Miss Vernon, 
whose movements were sometimes so rapid as to seem almost 
instinctive, overtook me, and, catching hold of my arm, stopped me 
with that air of authority which she could so whimsically assume, 
and which, from the naivete and simplicity of her manner, had an 
effect so peculiarly interesting. 

"Stop, Mr. Frank," she said ; "you are not to leave me in that 
way neither ; I am not so amply provided with friends, that I can 
afford to throw away even the ungrateful and the selfish. Mark 

ROB ROY. 179 

what I say, Mr. Francis Osbaldistone. You shall know nothing of 
this mysterious glove," and she held it up as she spoke — "nothing — 
no, not a single iota more than you know already ; and yet I will 
not permit it to be a gauntlet of strife and defiance betwixt us. 
My time here," she said, sinking into a tone somewhat softer, 
" must necessarily be very short ; yours must be still shorter ; We 
are soon to part, never to meet again ; do not let us quarrel, or 
make any mysterious miseries the pretext for farther embittering 
the few hours we shall ever pass together on this side of eternity." 

I do not know, Tresham, by what witchery this fascinating crea- 
ture obtained such complete management over a temper, which 
I cannot at all times manage myself. I had determined, on enter- 
ing the library, to seek a complete explanation with Miss Vernon. 
I had found that she refused it with indignant defiance, and avowed 
to my face the preference of a rival ; for what other construction' 
could I put on her declared preference of her mysterious confidant ? 
And yet, while I was on the point of leaving the apartment, and 
breaking with her fOr ever, it cost her but a change of look and 
tone, from that of real and haughty resentment to that of kind and 
playful despotism, again shaded off into melancholy and serious 
feeling, to lead me back to my seat, her willing subject, on her own 
hard terms. 

" What does this avail ? " said I, as- I sate down. "What can 
this avail, Miss Vernon ? Why should I witness embarrassments 
which I cannot relieve, and mysteries which I offend you even by 
attempting to penetrate ? Inexperienced as you are in the world, 
you must still be aware, that a beautiful young woman can have 
but one male friend. Even in a male friend I will be jealous of 
a confidence shared with a third party unknown and concealed ; 
but with you, Miss Vernon" ■ 

" You are, of course, jealous, in all the tenses and moods of that 
amiable passion ? But, my good friend, you have all this time spoke 
nothing but the paltry gossip which simpletons repeat from play- 
books and romances, till they give mere cant a real and powerful 
influence over their minds. Boys and girls prate themselves into 
love ; and when their love is like to fall asleep, they prate and teaze 
themselves into jealousy. But you and I, Frank, are rational 
beings, and neither silly nor idle enough to talk ourselves into any 
other relation than that of plain honest disinterested friendship. 
Any other union is as far out of our reach as if I were man, or you 
woman — To speak truth," she added, after a moment's hesitation, 
" even though I am so complaisant to the decorum of my sex as to 
blush a little at my own plain dealing, we cannot marry, if we 
would ; and we ought not, if we could." 

M 2 

iSo- ROB ROY. 

And certainly, Ti-esham, she did blush most angelically as she 
made this cruel declaration. I was about to attack both her posi- 
tions, entirely forgetting those very suspicions which had been con- 
firmed in the course of the evening, but she proceeded with a cold 
firmness which approached to severity. 

" What I say is sober and indisputable truth, on which I will 
neither hear question nor explanation. We are therefore friends, 
Mr. Osbaldistone — are we not ? " She held out her hand, and taking 
mine, added — " And nothing to each other now, or henceforward, 
except as friends." 

She let go my hand. I sunk it and my head at once, fairly 
overcrowed, as Spenser would have termed it, by the mingled 
kindness and firmness of her manner. She hastened to change 
the subject. * 

" Here is a letter," she said, " directed for you, Mr. Osbaldistone, 
very duly and distinctly ; but which, notwithstanding the caution of 
the person who wrote and addressed it, might perhaps never have 
reached your hands, had it not fallen into the possession of a certain 
Pacolet, or enchanted dwarf of mine, whom, like all distressed 
damsels of romance, I retain in my secret service." 

I opened the letter, and glanced over the contents — the unfolded 
sheet of paper dropped from my hands, with the involuntary excla- 
mation of " Gracious Heaven ! my folly and disobedience have 
ruined my father 1 " 

Miss Vernon rose with looks of real and affectionate alarm — 
" You grow pale — you are ill — -shall I bring you a glass of water ? 
Be a man, Mr. Osbaldistone, and a firm one. Is your father — is 
he no more ? " 

" He lives," said I, " thank God ! but to what distress and diffi- 
culty " 

" If that be all, despair not. May I read this letter ? " she said, 
taking it up. 

I assented, hardly knowing what I said. She read it with great 

" Who is this Mr. Tresham, who signs the letter ? " 

" My father's partner," (your own good father. Will,) " but he is 
little in the habit of acting personally in the business of the 

" He writes here," said Miss Vernon, " of various letters sent to 
you previously." 

" I have received none of them," I replied. 

" And it appears," she continued, " that Rashleigh, who has taken 
the full management of affairs during your father's absence in 
Holland, has some time since left London for Scotland, with effects 

ROB ROY. ' i8l 

and remittances to take up large bills granted by your father to 
persons in that country, and that he has not since been heard of." 

" It is but too true." 

" And here has been," she added, looking at the letter, " a head- 
clerk, or some such person, — Owenson — Owen — dispatched to 
.Glasgow, to find out Rashleigh, if possible, and you are entreated 
to repair to the same place, and assist him in his researches." 

" It is even so, and I 'must depart instantly." 

" Stay but one moment," said Miss Vernon. " It seems to me 
that the worst which can come of this matter will be the loss of 
a. certain sum of money ; and can that bring tears into your eyes? 
For shame, Mr. Osbaldistone ! " 

"You do me injustice, Miss Vernon," I answered. " I grieve not 
for the loss, but for the effect which I know it will produce on the 
spirits and health of my father, to whom mercantile credit is as 
honour ; and who, if declared insolvent, would sink into the grave, 
oppressed by a sense of grief, remorse, and despair, like that of 
a soldier convicted of cowardice, or a man of honour who had lost 
his rank and character in society. All this I might have prevented 
by a trifling sacrifice of the foolish pride and indolence which re- 
coiled from sharing the labours of his honourable and useful pro- 
fession. Good Heaven ! how shall I redeem the consequences of 
my error ! " 

" By instantly repairing to Glasgow, as you are conjured to do by 
the friend who writes this letter." 

" But if Rashleigh," said I, " has really formed this base and un- 
conscientious scheme of plundering his benefactor, what prospect 
is there that I can find means' of frustrating a plan so deeply laid ?" 

" The prospect," she replied, " indeed, may be uncertain ; but, 
on the other hand, there is no possibility of your doing any service 
to your father by remaining here. — Remember, had you been on 
the post destined for you, this disaster could not have happened : 
hasten to that which is now pointed out, and it may possibly be 
retrieved. — Yet stay — do not leave this room until I return." 

She left me in confusion and amazement ; amid which, however, 
I could find a lucid interval to admire the firmness, composure, and 
presence of mind, which Miss Vernon seemed to possess on every 
crisis, however sudden. 

In a few minutes she returned with a sheet of paper in her hand, 
folded and sealed like a letter, but without address. " I trust you," 
she said, " with this proof of my friendship, because I have the 
most perfect confidence in your honour. If I understand the nature 
of your distress rightly, the funds in Rashleigh's possession must be 
recovered by a certain day — the 12th of September, I think, is 

i82 ROB ROY. 

named— in order that they may be applied to pay the bills in ques- 
tion ; and, consequently, that if adequate funds be provided before 
that period, your father's credit is safe from the apprehended 

" Certainly— I so understand Mr. Tresham "—I looked at your 
father's letter again, and added, " There cannot be a doubt of it." 

" Well," said Diana, " in that case my little Pacolet may be of 
use to you. — You have heard of a spell contained in a letter. Take 
this packet ; do not open it until other and ordinary means have 
failed ; if you succeed by your own exertions, I trust to your honour 
for destroying it without opening or suffering it to be opened. But 
if not, you may break the seal within ten days of the fated day, and 
you will find directions which may possibly be of service to you. 
Adieu, Frank ; we never meet more — but sometimes think of your 
friend Die Vernon." 

She extended her hand, but I clasped her to my bosom. She 
sighed as she extricated herself from the embrace which she per- 
mitted, escaped to the door which led to her own apartment, and I 
saw her no more. 


And hurry, hurry, off they rode, 

As fast as fast might be ; 
Hurra, hurra, the dead can ride. 

Dost fear to ride with me ? Burger. 

■ There is one advantage in an accumulation of evils, differing in 
cause and character, that the distraction which they afford by their 
contradictory operation prevents the patient from being over- 
whelmed under either. I was deeply grieved at my separation 
from Miss Vernon, yet not so much so as I should have been, had 
not my father's apprehended distresses forced themselves on my 
attention ; and I was distressed by the news of Mr. Tresham, yet 
less so than if they had fully occupied my mind. I was neither a 
false lover nor an unfeeling son ; but man can give but a certain 
portion of distressful emotions to the causes which demand them ; 
and if two operate at once, our sympathy, like the funds of a com- 
pounding bankrupt, can only be divided between them. Such 
were my reflections when I gained my apartment — it seems, from 
the illustration, they already began to have a twang of commerce 
in them. 

I set myself seriously to consider your father's letter. It was not 
very distinct, and referred for several particulars to Owen, whom I 

ROB ROY. 183 

was entreated to meet with as soon as possible at a Scotch town 
called Glasgow ; being informed, moreover, that my old friend was 
to be heard of at Messrs. Macvittie, Macfin, ind Company, mer- 
chants ill. the Gallowgate of the said town. It likewise alluded to 
several letters, which, as it appeared to me, must have miscarried 
or have been intercepted, and complained of my obdurate silence, 
in terms which would have been highly unjust, had my letters 
reached their purposed destination. I was amazed as I read. 
That the spirit of Rashleigh walked around me, and conjured up 
these doubts and difficulties by which I was surrounded, I could 
not doubt for one instant ; yet it was frightful to conceive the 
extent of combined villany and power which he must have em- 
ployed in the perpetration of his designs. Let me do myself 
justice in one respect. The evil of parting from Miss Vernon, 
however distressing it might in other respects and at another time 
have appeared to me, sunk into a subordinate consideration when 
1 thought of the dangers impending over my father. I did not 
myself set a high estimation on wealth, and had the affectation of 
most young men of lively imagination, who suppose that they can 
better dispense with the possession of money, than resign their 
time and faculties to the labour necessary to acquire it. But in my 
father's case, I knew that bankruptcy would be considered as an 
utter and irretrievable disgrace, to which life would afford no 
comfort, and death the speediest and sole relief. 

My mind, therefore, was bent on averting this catastrophe, with 
an intensity which the interest could not have produced had it 
referred' to my own fortunes ; and the result of my deliberation 
was a firm resolution to depart from Osbaldistone-Hall the next 
day, and wend my way without loss of time to meet Owen at 
Glasgow. I did not hold it expedient to intimate my departure to 
my uncle, otherwise than by leaving a letter of thanks for his 
hospitality, assuring him that sudden and important business 
prevented my offering them in person. I knew the blunt old 
knight would readily excuse ceremony ; and I had such a belief in 
the extent and decided character of Rashleigh's machinations, that 
I had some apprehension of his having provided means to inter- 
cept a journey which was undertaken with a view to disconcert 
them, if my departure were publicly announced at Osbaldistone- 

I therefore determined to set off on my journey with daylight on 
the ensuing morning, and to gain the neighbouring kingdom of 
Scotland before any idea of my departure was entertained at the 
Hall; but one impediment of consequence was likely to prevent 
that speed which was the soul of my expedition. I did not know 

i84 ROB ROY. 

the shortest, nor indeed any road to Glasgow ; and as, in the cir- 
cumstances in which I stood, dispatch was of the greatest conse- 
quence, I determined to consult Andrew Fairservice on the subject, 
as the nearest and most authentic authority within my reach. 
Late as it was, I set off with ,the intention of ascertaining this 
important point, and after a few minutes' walk reached the dwelling 
of the gardener. 

Andrew's dwelling was situated at no great distance from the 
exterior wall ' of the garden, a snug comfortable Northumbrian 
cottage, built of stones roughly dressed with the hammer, and 
having the windows and doors decorated with huge heavy archi- 
traves, or lintels, as they are called, of hewn stone, and its roof 
covered with broad grey flags, instead of slates, thatch, or tiles. 
A jargonelle pear-tree at one end of the cottage, a rivulet, and ■ 
flower-plot of a rood in extent, in front, and a kitchen-garden 
behind ; a paddock for a cow, and a small field, cultivated with 
several crops of grain, rather for the benefit of the cottager than for 
sale, announced the warm and cordial comforts which Old Eng- 
land, even at her most northern extremity, extends to her meanest 

As I approached the mansion of the sapient Andrew, I heard a 
noise, which, being of a nature peculiarly solemn, nasal, and pro- 
longed, led me to think that Andrew, according to the decent and 
meritorious custom of his countrymen, had assembled some of his 
neighbours to join in family exercise, as he called evening devotion. 
Andrew had indeed neither wife, child, nor female inmate in his 
family. " The first of his trade," he said, " had had eneugh o' 
thae cattle." But, notwithstanding, he sometimes contrived to 
form an audience for himself out of the neighbouring Papists and 
Church-of-England-men, brands, as he expressed it, snatched out 
of the burning, on whom he used to exercise his spiritual gifts, in 
defiance alike of Father Vaughan, Father Docharty, Rashleigh, 
and all the world of Catholics around him, who deemed his inter- 
ference on such occasions an act of heretical interloping. I con- 
ceived it likely, therefore, that the well-disposed neighbours might 
have assembled to hold some chapel of ease of this nature. The 
noise, however, when I listened to it more accurately, seemed tp 
proceed entirely from the lungs of the said Andrew ; and when 'I 
interrupted it by entering the house, I found Fairservice alone, 
combating, as he best could, with long words and hard names, and 
reading aloud, for the purpose of his own edification, a volume of 
controversial divinity. " I was just taking a spell," said he, laying 
aside -the' huge folio volume as I entered, " of the worthy Doctor 

ROB ROY. 185 

" Lightfoot ! " I replied, looking at the ponderous volume with 
some surprise ; " surely your author was unhappily named." 

" Lightfoot was his name, sir ; a divine he was, and another 
kind of a divine than they hae now-a-days. Always, I crave your 
pardon for keeping ye standing at the door, but having been mis- 
trysted (gude preserve us !) with ae bogle the nicht already, I was 
dubious o' opening the yett till I had gaen through the e'ening 
worship ; and I had just finished the fifth chapter of Nehemiah — 
if that winna gar them keep their distance, I wotna what will." 

" Trysted with a bogle ! " said I ; " what do you mean by that, 
Andrew ? " 

" I said mistrysted," replied Andrew ; " that is as muckle as to 
say, fle/d wi' a ghaist — gude preserve us, I say again ! " 

" Flay'd by a ghost, Andrew ! how am I to understand that ? " 

" I did not say flay'd," replied Andrew, " but fley'd, that is, I got 
a fleg, and was ready to jump out o' my skin, though naebody 
offered to whirl it aff my body as a man wad bark a tree." 

" I beg a truce to your terrors in the present case, Andrew, and 
I wish to know whether you can direct me the nearest way to a 
town in your country of Scotland, called Glasgow ? " 

" A toun ca'd Glasgow ! " echoed Andrew Fairservice. " Glasgow's 
a ceety, man. — And is't the way to Glasgow ye were speering if I 
ken'd .' — What suld ail me to ken it .'' — it's no that dooms far frae 
my ain parish of Dreepdaily, that lies a bittock farther to the west. 
But what may your honour be gaun to Glasgow for ? " 

" Particular business," replied I. 

" That's as muckle as to say, Speer nae questions, and I'll tell ye 
nae lees. — To Glasgow .■" " — he made a short pause — " I am thinking 
ye wad be the better o' some ane to show you the road." 

" Certainly, if I could meet with any person going that way." 

"And your honour, doubtless, wad consider the time and 
trouble ? " 

" Unquestionably — my business is pressing, and if you can find 
any guide to accompany me, I'll pay him handsomely." 

"This is no a day to speak o' carnal matters," said Andrew, 
casting his eyes upwards ; " but if it werena Sabbath at e'en, I wad 
speer what ye wad be content to gie to ane that wad bear ye 
pleasant company on the road, and tell ye the names of the 
gentlemen's and noblemen's seats and castles, and count their 
kin to ye ? " 

" I tell you, all I want to know is the road I must travel ; I will 
pay the fellow to his satisfaction — I will give him anything in 

" Onything," replied Andrew, " is naething ; and this lad that I 

i86 ROB ROY. 

am speaking o' kens a' the short cuts and queer by-paths through 
the hills, and " 

" I have no time to talk about it, Andrew ; do you make the 
bargain for me your own way." 

" Aha ! that's speaking to the purpose," answered Andrew. — " I 
am thinking, since sae be that sae it is, I'll be the lad that will 
guide you mysell." 

"You, Andrew? how will you get away from your employ- 

" I tell'd your honour a while syne, that it was lang that I hae 
been thinking o' flitting, maybe as lang as frae the first year I came 
to Osbaldistone-Hall ; and now I am o' the mind to gang in gude 
earnest— better soon as syne — better a finger aff as aye wagging." 

" You leave your service, then ? — but will you not lose your 
wages ? " , ' 

" Nae doubt there will be a certain loss ; but then I hae siller o' 
the laird's in my hands that I took for the apples in the auld 
orchyard — and a sair bargain the folk had that bought them — a 
wheen green trash — and yet Sir Hildebrand's as keen to hae the 
siller (that is, the steward is as pressing about it) as if they had 
been a' gowden pippins — and then there's the siller for the seeds — 
I'm thinking the wage will be in a manner decently made up. — 
But doubtless your honour will consider my risk of loss when we 
won to Glasgow — and ye'U be for setting out forthwith ? " 

" By day-break in the morning," I answered. 

" That's something o' the suddenest — whare am I to find a naig ? 
— Stay — I ken just the beast that will answer me." 

" At five in the morning, then, Andrew, you will meet me at the 
head of the avenue." 

" Deil a fear o' me (that I suld say sae) missing my tryste," 
replied Andrew, very briskly ; " and if I might advise, we wad be 
aff twa hours earlier. I keh the way, dark or light, as weel as 
blind Ralph Ronaldson, that's travelled ower every moor in the 
country-side, and disna ken the colour of a heather-cowe when a's 

I highly approved of Andrew's amendment on my original pro- 
posal, and we agreed to meet at the place appointed at three in the 
morning. At once, however, a reflection came across the mind of 
my intended travelling companion. 

" The bogle ! the bogle ! what if it should come out upon us ?— 
I downa forgather wi' thae things twice in the four-and-twenty 

" Pooh ! pooh ! " I exclaimed, breaking away from him, " fear 
nothing from the next world— the earth contains living fiends, who 

ROB ROY. 187 

can act for themselves without assistance, were the whole host that 
fell with Lucifer to return to aid and abet them." 

V/ith these words, the import of which was suggested by my own 
situation, I left Andrew's habitation, and returned to the Hall. 

I made the few preparations which were necessary for my pro- 
posed journey, examined and loaded my pistols, and then threw 
myself on my bed, to obtain, if possible, a brief sleep before the 
fatigue of a long and anxious journey. Nature, exhausted by the 
tumultuous agitations of the day, was kinder to me than I expected, 
and I sunk into a deep and profound slumber, from which, how- 
ever, I started as the old clock struck two from a turret adjoining 
to my bedchamber. I instantly arose, struck a light, wrote the 
letter I proposed to leave for my uncle, and leavin^behind me such 
articles of dress as were cumbrous in carriage, I deposited the rest 
of my wardrobe in my valise, glided down stairs, and gained the 
stable without impediment. Without being quite such a groom as 
any of my cousins, I had learned at Osbaldistone-Hall to dress and 
saddle my own horse, and in a few minutes I was mounted and 
ready for my sally. 

As I paced up the old avenue, on which the waning moon threw 
its light with a pale and whitish tinge, I looked back with a deep 
and boding sigh towards the walls which contained Diana Vernon, 
under the despondent impression that we had probably parted to 
meet no more. It was impossible, among the long and irregular 
lines of Gothic casements, which now looked ghastly white in the 
moonlight, to distinguish that of the apartment which she inhabited. 
" She is lost to me already," thought 1, as my eye wandered over 
the dim and indistinguishable intricacies of architecture offered by 
the moonlight view of Osbaldistone-Hall — " She is lost to me 
already, ere I have left the place which she inhabits ! What 
hope is there of my maintaining any correspondence with her, 
when leagues shall lie between ? " 

While I paused in a reverie of no very pleasing nature, the " iron 
tongue of time told three upon the drowsy ear of night," and re- 
minded me of the necessity of keeping my appointment with a 
person of a less interesting description and appearance — Andrew 

At the gate of the avenue I found a horseman stationed in the 
shadow of the wall, but it was not until I had coughed twice, and 
then called " Andrew," that the horticulturist replied, " I'se warrant 
it's Andrew.'' 

" Lead the way, then," said I, " and be silent if you can, till we 
are past the hamlet in the valley." 

Andrew led the way accordingly, and at a much brisker pace than 

i88 ROB ROY. 

I would have recommended ; and so well did he obey my injunc- 
tions of keeping silence, that he would return no answer to my 
repeated inquiries into the cause of such unnecessary haste. 
Extricating ourselves by short cuts, known to Andrew, from the 
numerous stony lanes and bypaths which intersected each other in 
the vicinity of the Hall, we reached the open heath ; and riding 
swiftly across it, took our course among the barren hills which 
divide England from Scotland on what are called the Middle 
Marches. The way, or rather the broken track which we occupied, 
was a happy interchange of bog and shingles ; nevertheless, Andrew 
relented nothing of his speed, but trotted manfully forward at the 
rate of eight or ten miles an hour. I was both surprised and pro- 
voked at the fellow's obstinate persistence, for we made abrupt 
ascents and descents over ground of a very break-neck character, 
and traversed the edge of precipices, where a slip of the horse's 
feet would have consigned the rider to certain death. The moon, 
at best, afforded a dubious and imperfect light ; but in some places 
we were so much under the shade of the mountain as to be in total 
darkness, and then I could only trace Andrew by the clatter of his 
horse's feet, and the fire which they struck from the flints. At first, 
this rapid motion, and the attention which, for the sake of personal 
safety, I was compelled to give to the conduct of my horse, was of 
service, by forcibly diverting my thoughts from the various painful 
reflections which must otherwise have pressed on my mind. But 
at length, after hallooing repeatedly to Andrew to ride slower, I be- 
came seriously incensed at his impudent perseverance in refusing 
either to obey pr to reply to me. My anger was, however, quite 
impotent. I attempted once or twice to get up alongside of my 
self-willed guide, with the purpose of knocking him off his horse 
with the butt-end of my whip ; but Andrew was better mounted 
than I, and either the spirit of the animal which he bestrode, or 
more probably some presentiment of my kind intentions towards 
hitn, induced him to quicken his pace whenever I attempted to make 
,up to him. On the other hand, I was compelled to exert my spurs 
to keep him in sight, for without his guidance I was too well aware 
that I should never find my way through the howling wilderness 
which we now traversed at such an unwonted pace. I was so angry 
at length, that I threatened to have recourse to my pistols, and send 
a bullet after the Hotspur Andrew, which should stop his fiery- 
footed career, if he did not abate it of his own accord. Apparently 
this threat made some impression on the tympanum of his ear, 
however deaf to all my milder entreaties ; for he relajjed his pace 
upon hearing it, and suffering me to close up to him, observed, 
" There wasna rauckle sense in riding at sic a daft-like gate." 

ROB ROY. 189 

" And what did you mean by doing so at all, you self-willed 
scoundrel ? " replied I ; for 1 was in a towering passion, to which, 
by the way, nothing contributes more than the having recently 
undergone a spice of personal fear, which, like a few drops of water 
flung on a glowing fire, is sure to inflame the ardour which it is 
insufficient to quench. 

"What's your honour's wull?" replied Andrew, with impene- 
trable gravity. 

" My will, you rascal ? — I have been roaring to you this hour to 
ride slower, and you have never so much as answered me — ^Are you 
drunk or mad to behave so ? " 

" An it like your honour, I am something dull o' hearing ; and 
I'll no deny but I might have maybe taen a stirrup-cup at parting 
frae the auld bigging whare I hae dwalt sae lang ; and having nae- 
body to pledge, nae doubt I was obliged to do mysell reason, or 
else leave the end o' the brandy stoup to thae papists, — and that 
wad be a waste, as your honour kens." 

This might be all very true, and my circumstances required that 
I should be on good terms with my guide ; I therefore satisfied 
myself with requiring of him to take his directions from me in 
future concerning the rate of travelling. 

Andrew, emboldened by the mildness of my tone, elevated his 
own into the pedantic, conceited octave, which was familiar to him 
on most occasions. 

" Your honour winna persuade me, and naebody shall persuade 
me, that it's either halesome or prudent to tak the night air on thae 
moors without a cordial o' clow-gilliflower water, or a tass of brandy 
or aquavitse, or sic-like creature-comfort. I hae taen the bent ower 
the Otterscape-rigg a hundred times, day and night, and never 
could find the way unless I had taen my morning ; mair by token 
that I had whiles twa bits o' ankers o' brandy on ilk side o' me." 

" In other words, Andrew," said I, "you were a smuggler — how 
does a man of your strict principles reconcile yourself to cheat the 
revenue ? " 

" It's a mere spoiling o' the Egyptians," replied Andrew ; " puir 
auld Scotland suffers eneugh by thae blackguard loons o' excise- 
men and gaugers, that hae come down on her like locusts since the 
sad and sorrowfu' Union ; it's the part of a kind son to bring her a 
soup o' something that will keep up her auld heart, and that will 
they nill they, the ill-fa'ard thieves." 

Upon more particular inquiry, I found Andrew had frequently 
travelled these mountain-paths as a smuggler, both before and after 
his establishment at Osbaldistone-Hall ; a circumstance which was 
so far of importance to me, as it proved his capacity as a guide, 

igo • ROB ROY. 

notwithstanding the escapade of which he had been guilty at his 
outset. Even now, though travelling at a more moderate pace, the 
stirrup-cup, or whatever else had such an effect in stimulating 
' Andrew's motions, seemed not totally to have lost its influence. He 
often cast a nervous and startled look behind him ; and whenever 
the road seemed at all practicable, showed symptoms of a desire to 
accelerate his pace, as if he feared some pursuit from the rear. 
These appearances of alarm gradually diminished as we reached 
the top of a high bleak ridge, which ran nearly east and west for 
about a mile, with a very steep descent on either side. The pale 
beams of the morning were now enlightening the horizon, when 
Andrew cast a look behind him, and not seeing the appearance of a 
living being on the moors which he had travelled, his hard features 
gradually unbent, as he first whistled, then sang, with much glee 
and little melody, the end of one of his native songs : 

" Jenny, lass ! I think I hae her 
Ower the muir amang the heather ; 
All their clan shall never get her." 

He patted at the same time the neck of the horse which had carried 
him so gallantly ; and my attention being directed by that action 
to the animal, I instantly recognised a favourite mare of Thorncliff 
Osbaldistone. " How is this, sir ? " said I, sternly ; " that is Mr. 
ThornclifPs mare ! " 

" I'll no say but she may aiblins hae been his honour's Squire 
Thomcliff's in her day — but she's mine now." 

"You have stolen her, you rascal." 

" Na, na, sir, nae man can wyte me wi' theft. — The thing stands 
this gate, ye see — Squire Thorncliff borrowed ten punds o' me to 
gang to York Races— deil a boddle wad he pay me back again, and 
spake o' raddling my banes, as he ca'd it, when I asked him biit for 
my ain back again ; — now I think it will riddle him or he gets his 
horse ower the Border again — unless he pays me plack and bawbee, 
he sail never see a hair o' her tail. I ken a canny chield at Lough- 
maben, a bit writer lad, that will put me in the way to sort him. — 
Steal the mear ! na, na, far be the sin o' theft frae Andrew Fair- 
service — I have just arrested her jurisdictiones fandandy causey. 
Thae are bonny writer words — amaist like the language o' huz 
gardeners and other learned men— it's a pity they're sae dear ; — 
thae three words were a' that Andrew got for a lang law-plea, and 
four ankers o' as gude brandy as was e'er coupit ower craig — Hech, 
sirs ! but law's a dear thing." 

" You are likely to find it much dearer than you suppose, Andrew, 

ROB ROY. igi 

if you proceed in this mode of paying yourself, without legal 

" Hout, tout, we're in Scotland now (be praised for't !) and I can 
find baith friends and lawyers, and judges too, as weel as ony Osbal- 
distone o' them a'. My mither's mitheHs third cousin was cousin 
to the Provost o' Dumfries, and he winna see a drap o' her blude 
wranged. Hout awa ! the laws are indifferently administered here 
to a' men alike ; it's no like on yon side, when a chield may be 
whuppit awa' wi' ane o' Clerk Jobson's warrants, afore he kens 
where he is. But they will hae little eneugh law amang them by 
and by, and that is ae grand reason that I hae gi'en them gude- 

I was highly provoked at the achievement of Andrew, and con- 
sidered it as a hard fate, which a second time threw me into 
collision with a person of such irregular practices. I determined, 
however, to buy the mare of him, when we should reach the end of 
our journey, and send her back to my cousin at Osbaldistone-Hall; 
and with this purpose of reparation I resolved to make my uncle 
acquainted from the next post-town. It was needless, I thought, to 
quarrel with Andrew in the meantime, who had, after all, acted not 
very unnaturally for a person in his circumstances. I therefore 
smothered my resentment, and asked him what he meant by his 
last expressions-, that there would be little law in Northumberland 
by and by ? 

" Law ! " said Andrew, " hout, ay — there will be club-law eneugh. 
The priests and the Irish officers, and thae papist cattle that hae 
been sodgering abroad, because they durstna bide at hame, are a' 
fleeing thick in Northumberland e'enow — and thae corbies dinna 
gather without they smell carrion. As sure as ye live, his honour 
Sir Hildebrand is gaun to stick his horn in the bog-^there's nae- 
thing but gun and pistol, sword and dagger, amang them, — and 
they'll be laying on, I'se warrant ; for they're fearless fules the young 
Osbaldistone squires, aye craving your honour's pardon." 

This speech recalled to my memory some suspicioiis that I my- 
self had entertained, that the Jacobites were on the eve of some 
desperate enterprise. But, conscious it did not become me to be a 
spy on my uncle's words and actions, I had rather avoided than 
availed myself of any opportunity which occurred of remarking 
upon the signs of the times. Andrew Fairservice felt no such 
restraint, and doubtless spoke very truly in stating his conviction 
that some desperate plots were in agitation, as a reason which 
determined his resolution to leave the Hall. 

" The servants," he stated, " with the tenantry and others, had 
been all regularly enrolled and mustered, and they wanted me to 

192 ROB ROY. 

take arms also. But I'll ride in nae siccan troop — they little ken'd _ 
Andrew that asked him. I'll fight when I like mysell, but it sail 
neither be for the hure o' Babylon, nor ony hure in England." 


Where longs to fall yon rifted spire, 

As weary of the insulting air, — 
The poet's thoughts, the warriors fire. 

The lover's sighs, are sleeping there. 


At the first Scotch town which we reached, my guide sought out 
his friend and counsellor, to consult upon the proper and legal 
means of converting into his own lawful property "the bonny 
creature," which was at present his own only by one of those sleight ■ 
oPhand arrangements which still sometimes took place in that 
once lawless district. I was somewhat diverted with the dejection 
of his looks on his return. He had, it seems, been rather too com- 
municative to his confidential friend, the attorney ; and learned 
with great dismay, in return for his unsuspecting frankness, that 
Mr. Touthbpe had, during his absence, been appointed clerk to the 
peace of the county, and was bound to communicate to justice all 
such achievements as that of his friend, Mr. Andrew Fairservice. 
There was a necessity, this alert member of the police stated, for 
arresting the horse, and placing him in Bailie Trumbull's stable, 
therein to remain at livery, at the rate of twelve shillings (Scotch) 
per diem, until the question of property was duly tried and debated. 
He even talked as if, in strict and rigorous execution of his duty, he 
ought to detain honest Andrew himself; but on my guide's most 
piteously entreating his forbearance, he not only desisted from this 
proposal, but made a present to Andrew of a broken-winded and 
spavined pony, in order to enable him to pursue his journey. It is 
true, he qualified this act of generosity by exacting from poor 
Andrew an absolute cession of his right and interest in the gallant 
palfrey of Thorncliff Osbaldistone, a transference which Mr. Tout- 
hope represented as of very little consequence, since his unfortunate 
friend, as he facetiously observed, was likely to get nothing of the 
mare excepting the halter. 

Andrew seemed woeful and disconcerted, as I screwed out of him 
these particulars ; for his northern pride was cruelly pinched by 
being compelled to admit that attorneys were attorneys on both 
sides of the Tweed ; and that Mr. Clerk Touthope was not a far- 
thing more sterling coin than Mr. Clerk Jobson. 

ROB ROY. 193 

" It wadna hae vexed him half sae muckle to hae been cheated 
out o' what might amaist be said to be won with the peril o' his 
craig, had it happened amang the Inglishers ; but it was an unco 
thing to see hawks pike out hawks' een, or ae kindly Scot cheat 
anither. But nae doubt things were strangely changed in his 
country sin' the sad and sorrowfu' Union ; " an event to which 
Andrew referred every symptom of depravity or degeneracy which 
he remarked among his countrymen, more especially the inflam- 
mation of reckonings, the diminished size of pint-stoups, and other 
grievances, which he pointed out tome during our journey. 

For my own part, I held myself, as things had turned out, 
acquitted of all charge of the mare, and wrote to my uncle the 
circumstances under which she was carried into Scotland, coiiclud- 
ing with informing him that she was in the hands of justice, and 
her worthy representatives, Bailie Trumbull and Mr. Clerk Tout- 
hope, to whom I referred him for further particulars. Whether the 
property returned to the Northumbrian fox-hunter, or continued to 
bear the person of the Scottish attorney, it is unnecessary for me at 
present to say. 

We now pursued our journey to the north-westward, at a rate 
much slower than that at which we had achieved our nocturnal 
retreat from England. One chain of barren and uninteresting hills 
succeeded another, until the more fertile vale of Clyde opened upon 
us ; and, with such dispatch as we might, we gained the town, or, 
as my guide pertinaciously termed it, the city, of Glasgow. Of late 
years, I understand, it has fully deserved the name, which, by a 
sort of political second sight, my guide assigned to it. An extensive 
and increasing trade with the West Indies and American colonies, 
has, if I am rightly informed, laid the foundation of wealth and 
prosperity, which, if carefully strengthened and built upon, may one 
day support an immense fabric of commercial prosperity ; but in 
the earlier time of which I speak, the dawn of this splendour had 
not arisen. The Union had, indeed, opened to Scotland the trade 
of the English colonies ; but, betwixt want of capital, and the 
national jealousy of the English, the merchants of Scotland were as 
yet excluded, in a great measure, from the exercise of the privileges 
which that memorable treaty conferred on them. Glasgow lay on 
the wrong side of the island for participating in the east country or 
continental trade, by which the trifling commerce as yet possessed 
by Scotland chiefly supported itself. Yet, though she then gave 
small promise of the commercial eminence to which, I am informed, 
she seems now likely one day to attain, Glasgow, as the principal 
central town of the western district of Scotland, was a place of 
considerable rank and importance. The broad and brimming 

194 ROB ROY. 

Clyde, which flows so near its walls, gave the means of an inland 
navigation of some importance. Not only the fertile plains in its 
immediate neighbourhood, but the districts of Ayr and Dumfries 
regarded Glasgow as their capital, to which they transmitted their 
produce, and received in return such necessaries and luxuries as 
their consumption required. 

The dusky mountains of the Western Highlands often sent forth 
wilder tribes to frequent the marts of St. Mungo's favourite city. 
Hordes of wild, shaggy,, dwarfish cattle and ponies, conducted by 
Highlanders, as wild, as shaggy, and sometimes as dwarfish, as the 
animals they had in charge, often traversed the streets of Glasgow. 
Strangers gazed with surprise on the antique and fantastic dress, 
and listened to the unknown and dissonant sounds of their language, 
while the mountaineers, armed, even while engaged in this peaceful 
occupation, with musket and pistol, sword, dagger, and target, 
stared, with astonishment on the articles of luxury of which they 
knew not the use, and with an avidity which seemed somewhat 
alarming on the articles which they knew and valued. It is always 
with unwillingness that the Highlander quits his deserts, and at 
this early period it was like tearing a pine from its rock, to plant 
him elsewhere. Yet even then the mountain glens were over- 
peopled, although thinned occasionally by famine or by the sword, 
and many of their inhabitants strayed down to Glasgow — there 
formed settlements — there sought and found employment, although 
different, indeed, from that of their native hills. This supply of a 
hardy and useful population was of consequence to the prosperity 
of the place, furnished the means of carrying on the few manufac- 
tures which the town already boasted, and laid the foundation of its 
future prosperity. 

The exterior of the city corresponded with these promising cir- 
cumstances. The principal street was broad and important, deco- 
rated with public buildings, of an architecture rather striking than 
correct in point of taste, and running between rows of tall houses, 
built of stone, the fronts of which were occasionally richly orna- 
mented with mason-work, a circumstance which gave the street an 
imposing air of dignity and grandeur, 6f which most English towns 
are in some measure deprived, by the slight, unsubstantial, and 
perishable quality and appearance of the bricks with which they are 

In the westetti metropolis of Scotland, my guide and I arrived on 
a Saturday evening, too late to entertain thoughts of business of 
any kind. We alighted at the door of a jolly hostler-wife, as An- ' 
drew called her, the Ostelere of old father Chaucer, by whom we 
were civilly received. 

ROB ROY. 193 

On the following morning the bells pealed from every steeple, 
announcing the sanctity of the day. Notwithstanding, however, 
what I had heard of the severity with which the Sabbath is observed 
in Scotland, my first impulse, not unnaturally, was to seek out 
Owen ; but on inquiry I found that my attempt would be in vain, 
" until kirk-time was ower." Not only did my landlady and guide 
jointly assure me that " there wadna be a living soul eitjrer in the 
counting-house or dwelling-house of Messrs. MacVittie, Macfin, 
and Company," to which Owen's letter referred me, but, moreover, 
" far less would I find any of the partners there. They were serious 
men, and wad be where a' gude Christians ought to be at sic a 
time, and that was in the Barony Laigh Kirk." 

Andrew Fairservice, whose disgust at the law of his country had 
fortunately not extended itself to the Other learned professions of 
his native land, now sung forth the praises of the preacher who was 
to perform the duty, to which my hostess replied with many loud 
amens. The result was, that I determined to go to this popular 
place of worship, as much with the purpose of learning, if possible, 
whether Owen had arrived in Glasgow, as with any great expecta- 
tion of edification. My hopes were exalted by the assurance, that, 
if Mr. Ephraim MacVittie (worthy man) were in the land of life, he 
would surely honour the Barony Kirk that day with his presence ; 
and if he chanced to have a stranger within his gates, doubtless he 
would bring him to the duty along with him. This probability de- 
termined my motions, and, under the escort of my faithful Andrew, 
I set forth for the Barony Kirk. 

On this occasion, however, I had little need of his guidance ; for 
the crowd, which forced its way up a steep and rough-paved street, 
to hear the most popular preacher in the west of Scotland, would of 
itself have swept me along with it. On attaining the summit of 
the hill, we turned to the left, and a large pair of folding doors ad- 
mitted us, amongst others, into the open and extensive burying- 
place which surrounds the Minster, or Cathedral Church of Glasgow. 
The pile is of a gloomy and massive, rather than of an elegant, 
style of Gothic architecture ; but its peculiar character is so strongly 
preserved, and so well suited with the accompaniments that sur- 
round it, that the impression of the first view was awful and solemn 
in the extreme. I was indeed so much struck, that I resisted for 
a few minutes all Andrew's efforts to drag me into the interior of 
the buildkig, so deeply was I engaged in surveying its outward 

Situated in a populous and considerable town, this ancient and 
.massive pile has the appearance of the most sequestered solitude. 
High walls divide it from the buildings of the city on one side ; on 

N 2 

ic,6 ROB ROY. 

tbe other, 5t is bounded by a ravine, at the bottom of which, and 
invisible to the eye, murmurs a wandering rivulet, adding, by its 
gentle noise, to the imposing solemnity of the scene. On the opposite 
side of the ravine rises a steep bank, covered with fir-trees closely 
planted, whose dusky shade extends itself over the cemetery with 
an appropriate and gloomy effect. The churchyard itself had a 
peculiar character ; for though in reality extensive, it is small in 
proportion to the number of respectable inhabitants who are interred 
within it, and whose graves are almost all covered with tombstones. 
There is therefore no room for the long rank grass, which, in most 
cases, partially clothes the surface of those retreats, where the 
wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. The broad 
flat monumental stones are placed so close to each other, that the 
precincts appear to be flagged with them, and, though roofed only 
by the heavens, resemble the floor of one of our old English" 
churches, where the pavement is covered with sepulchral inscrip- 
tions. The contents of these sad records of mortality, the vain 
sorrows which they preserve, the stern lesson which they teach of 
the nothingness of humanity, the extent of ground which they so 
closely cover, and their uniform and melancholy tenor, reminded 
me of the roll of the prophet, which was "written within and 
without, and there was written therein lamentations and mourning 
and woe." 

The Cathedral itself corresponds in impressive majesty with these 
accompaniments. We feel that its appearance is heavy, yet that 
the effect produced would be destroyed were it lighter or more 
ornamentkl. It is the only metropolitan church in Scotland, 
excepting, as I am informed, the Cathedral of Kirkwall, in the 
Orkneys, which remained uninjured at the Reformation ; and 
Andrew Fairservice, who saw with great pride the effect which it 
produced upon my mind, thus accounted for its preservation. 
"Ah! it's a brave kirk — nana o' yere whigmaleeries and curlie- 
wurlies and open-steek hems about it — a' solid, weel-jointed mason- 
wark, that will stand as lang as the warld, keep hands and gun- 
powther aff it. It had amaist a doun-come lang syne at the 
Reformation, when they pu'd doun the kirks of St. Andrews and 
Perth, and thereawa', to cleanse them o' Papery, and idolatry, and 
image worship, and surplices, and sic like rags o' the muckle hure 
that sitteth on seven hills, as if ane wasna braid eneugh for her auld 
hinder end. Sae the commons o' Renfrew, and o' the Barony, and 
the Gorbals, and a' about, they behoved to come into Glasgow ae 
fair morning, to try their hand on purging the Hie' Kirk o' Popish 
nick-nackets. But the townsmen o' Glasgow, they were feared their 
auld edifice might slip the girths in gaun through siccan rough 

ROB ROY. 197 

physic, sae they rang the common bell, and assembled the train- 
bands wi' tuck o' drum. — By good luck, the worthy James Rabat 
was Dean o' Guild that year — (and a gude mason he was himsell, 
made him the keener to keep up the auld bigging), and the trades 
assembled, and offered downright battle to the commons, rather 
than their kirk should coup the crans, as others had done elsewhere. 
It wasna for luve o' Paperie — na, na ! — nane could ever say that o' 
the trades o' Glasgow — Sae they sune came to an agreement to 
take a' the idolatrous statues of sants (sorrow be on them) out o' 
their neuks — And sae the bits o' stane idols were broken in pieces 
by Scripture warrant, and flung into the Molendinar burn, and the 
auld kirk stood as crouse as a cat when the flaes are kaimed afl' 
her, and aTaody was alike pleased. And I hae heard wise folk say, 
that if the same had been done in ilka kirk in Scotland, the Reform 
wad just hae been as pure as it is e'en now, and we wad hae mair 
Christian-like kirks ; for I hae been sae lang in England, that 
naething will drive it oot o' my head, that the dog-kennel at 
Osbaldistone-Hall is better than mony a house o' God in Scot- 

Thus saying, Andrew led the way into the place of worship. 


■ It strikes an awe 

And terror on my aching sight ; the tombs 
And monumental caves of death look cold, 
And shoot a chillness to the trembling; heart. 

Mourning Bride. 

Notwithstanding the impatience of my conductor, I could not 
forbear to pause and gaze for some minutes on the exterior of the 
building, rendered more impressively dignified by the solitude which 
ensued when its hitherto open gates were closed, after having, as it 
were, devoured the multitudes which had lately crowded the church- 
yard, but now, enclosed within the building, were engaged, as the 
choral swell of voices from within announced to us,' in the solemn 
exercises of devotion. The sound of so many voices, united by 
the distance into one harmony, and freed from those harsh dis- 
cordances which jar the ear when heard more near, combining 
with the murmuring brook, and the wind which sung among the old 
firs, affected me with a sense of sublimity. All nature, as invoked 
by the Psalmist whose verses they chanted, seemed united in offer- 
ing that solemn praise in which trembling is mixed with joy as she 
addresses her Maker. I had heard the service of high mass in 


France, celebrated with all the eclat which the choicest music, the 
richest dresses, the most imposing ceremonies, could confer on it ; 
yet it fell short in effect of the simplicity of the Presbyterian worship. 
The devotion in which every one took a share, seemed so superior 
to that which was recited by musicians as a lesson which they had 
learned by rote, that it gave the Scottish worship all the advantage 
of reality over acting. 

As I lingered to catch more of the solemn sound, Andrew, whose 
impatience became ungovernable, pulled me by the sleeve — " Come 
awa', sir — Come awa' ; we maunna be late o' gaun in to disturb the 
worship ; if we bide here, the searchers will be on us, and carry us 
to the guard-house for being idlers in kirk-time." 

Thus admonished, I followed my guide, but not, as I had sup- 
posed, into the body of the cathedral. " This gate — this gate, sir," 
he exclaimed, dragging me off as I made towards the main entrance 
of the building — " There's but cauldrife law-wark gaun on yonder 
— carnal morality, as dow'd and as fusionless as rue leaves at Yule 
• — Here's the real savour of doctrine." 

So saying, we entered a small low-arched door, secured by 
a wicket, which a grave-looking pei'son seemed on the point of 
closing, and descended several steps as if into the funeral vaults 
beneath the church. It was even so ; for in these subterranean 
precincts, why chosen for such a purpose I knew not, — was estab- 
lished a very singular place of worship. 

Conceive, Tresham, an extensive range of low-browed, dark, and 
twilight vaults, such as are used for sepulchres in other countries, 
and had long been dedicated to the same purpose in this, a portion 
of which was seated with pews, and used as a church. The part 
of the vaults thus occupied, though capable of containing a con- 
gregation of many hundreds, bore a small proportion to the darker 
and more extensive caverns which yawned around what may be 
termed the inhabited space. In those waste regions of oblivion, dusky 
banners and tattered escutcheons indicated the graves of those who 
were once, doubtless, " princes in Israel." Inscriptions, which 
could only be read by the painful antiquary, in language as obsolete 
as the act of devotional charity which they implored, invited the 
passengers to pray for the souls of those whose bodies rested beneath. 
Surrounded by these receptacles of the last remains of mortality, I 
found a numerous congregation engaged in the act of prayer. The 
Scotch perform this duty in a standing, instead of a kneeling pos- 
ture, more, perhaps, to take as broad a distinction as possible from 
the ritual of Rome, than for any better reason ; since I have ob- 
served, that in their family worship, as doubtless in their private 
devotions, they adopt, in their immediate address to the Deity, 

ROB ROY. 199 

that posture v/hich other Christians use as the humblest and most 
reverential. Standing, therefore, the men being uncovered, a crowd 
of several hundreds of both sexes, and all ages, listened with great 
reverence and attention to the extempore, at least the unwritten, 
prayer of an aged clergyman* who was very popular in the city. 
Educated in the same religious persuasion, I seriously bent my 
mind to join in the devotion of the day ; and it was not till the 
congregation resumed their seats, that iriy attention was diverted 
to the consideration of the appearance of all around me. 

At the conclusion of the prayer, most of the men put on their 
hats or bonnets, and all who had the happiness to have seats sate 
down. Andrew and I were not of this number, having been too 
late of entering the church to secure such accommodation. We 
stood among a number of other persons in the same situation, 
forming a sort of ring around the seated part of the congregation. 
Behind and around us were the vaults I have already described ; 
before us the devout audience, dimly shown by the light which 
streamed on their faces through one or two low Gothic windows, 
such as give air and light to charnel-houses. By this were seen the 
usual variety of countenances which are generally turned towards 
a Scotch pastor on such occasions, almost all composed to atten- 
tion, unless where a father or mother here and there recalls the 
wandering eyes of a lively child, or disturbs the slumbers of a dull 
one. The high-boned and harsh countenance of the nation, with 
the expression of intelligence and shrewdness which it frequently 
exhibits, is seen to more advantage in the act of devotion, or in the 
ranks of war, than on lighter and more cheerful occasions of as- 
, semblage. The discourse of the preacher was well qualified to 
call forth the various feelings and faculties of his audience. 

Age and infirmities had impaired the powers of a voice originally 
strong and,sonorous. He read his text with a pronunciation some- 
what inarticulate ; but when he closed the Bible, and commenced 
his sermon, his tones gradually strengthened, as he entered with 
vehemence into the arguments which he maintained. They related 
chiefly to the abstract points of the Christian faith, subjects grave,, 
deep, and fathomless by mere human reason, but for which, with 
equal ingenuity and propriety, he sought a key in liberal quota- 
tions from the inspired writings. My mind was unprepared to coin- 
cide in all his reasoning, nor was I sure that in some instances I 
rightly comprehended his positions. But nothing could be more im- 
pressive than the eager enthusiastic manner of the good old man, 
and nothing more ingenious than his mode of reasoning. The 
Scotch, it is well known, are more remarkable for the exercise of 
their intellectual powers, than for the keenness of their feelings j 


they are, therefore, more moved by logic than by rhetoric, and more 
attracted by acute and argumentative reasoning on doctrinal points, 
than influenced by the enthusiastic appeals to the heart and to the 
passions, by which popular preachers in other countries win the 
favour of their hearers. 

Among the attentive group which I now saw, might be dis- 
tinguished various expressions similar to those of the audienc^ in 
the famous cartoon of Paul preaching at Athens. Here sat a zealpus 
and intelligent Calvinist, with brows bent just as much as to ifidi- 
cate profound attention ; lips slightly compressed, eyes fixed on the 
minister, with an expression of decent pride, as if sharing! the 
triumph of his argument ; the forefinger of the right hand touching 
successively those of the left, as the preacher, from argumerjt to 
argument, ascended towards his conclusion. Another, with fiercer 
and sterner look, intimated at once his contempt of all who doubted 
the creed of his pastor, and his joy at the appropriate punishment 
denounced against them. A third, perhaps belonging to a different 
congregation, and present only by accident or curiosity, had the 
appearance of internally impeaching some link of the reasoning ; 
and you might plainly read, in the slight motion of his head, his 
doubts as to the soundness of the preacher's argument. The greater 
part listened with a calm satisfied countenance, expressive of ,a con- 
scious merit in being present, and in listening to such an ingenious 
discourse, although, perhaps, unable entirely to comprehend it. 
The women in geijeral belonged to this last division of the audience ; 
the old, however, seeming more grimly intent upon the abstract 
doctrines laid before them ; while the younger females permitted 
their eyes occasionally to make a modest circuit around the con- 
gregation ; and some of them, Tresham (if my vanity did not 
greatly deceive me), contrived to distinguish your friend and ser- 
vant, as a handsome young stranger, and an Englishman. As to 
the rest of the congregation, the stupid gaped, yawned, or slept, till 
awakened by the appliaction of their more zealous neighbours' 
heels to their shins ; and the idle indicated their inattention by the 
wandering of their eyes, but dared give no more decided -token of 
weariness. Amid the Lowland costume of coat and cloak, I could 
here and there discern a Highland plaid, the wearer of which, rest- 
ing on his basket-hilt, sent his eyes among the audience with the 
unrestrained curiosity of savage wonder ; and who, in all proba- 
bility, was inattentive to the sermon, for a very pardonable reason 
• — because he did not understand the language in which it was de- 
livered. The' martial and wild look, however, of these stragglers, 
added a kind of character which the congregation could not have 
exhibited without them. They were more numerous, Andrew 

ROB ROY. 201 

afterwards observed, owing to some cattle fair in the neighbour- 

Such was the group of countenances, rising teir onteir, dis- 
covered to my critical inspection by such sunbeams as forced their 
way through the narrow Gothic lattices of the Laigh Kirk of Glas- 
gow ; and having illuminated the attentive congregation, lost them- 
selves in the vacuity of the vaults behind, giving to the nearer part 
of their labyrinth a sort of imperfect twilight, and leaving their re- 
cesses in an utter darkness, which gave them the appearance of 
being interminable. 

I have already said that I stood with others in the exterior circle, 
with my face to the preacher, and my back to those vaults which I 
have so often mentioned. My position rendered me particularly 
Obnoxious to any interruption which arose from any slight noise 
occurring amongst these retiring arches, where the least sound was 
multiplied by a thousand echoes. The occasional sound of rain- 
drops, whichj admitted through some cranny in the ruined roof, fell 
successively, and plashed upon the pavement beneath, caused me 
to turn my head more than once to the place from whence it seemed 
to proceed ; and when my eyes took that direction, I found it 
difficult to withdraw them ; such is the pleasure our imagination 
receives from the attempt to penetrate as far as possible into an in- 
tricate labyrinth, imperfectly lighted, and exhibiting objects which 
irritate our curiosity, only because they acquire a mysterious interest 
from being undefined and dubious. My eyes became habituated to 
the gloomy atmosphere to which I directed them, and insensibly 
my mind became more interested in their discoveries than in the 
metaphysical subtleties which the preacher was enforcing. 

My father had often checked me for this wandering mood of 
mind, arising perhaps from an excitability of imagination to which 
he was a stranger ; and the finding myself at present solicited by 
these temptations to inattention, recalled the time when I used to 
walk, led by his hand, to Mr. Shower's chapel, and the earnest in- 
junctions which he then laid on me to redeem the time, because 
the days were evil. At present, the picture which my thoughts 
suggested, far from fixing my attention, destroyed the portion I had 
yet left, by conjuring up to my recollection the peril in which his 
affairs now stood. I endeavoured, in the lowest whisper I could frame, 
to request Andrew to obtain information, whether any of the gentle- 
men of the firm of MacVittie & Co., were at present in the con- 
gregation. But Andrew, wrapped in profound attention to the ser- 
mon, only replied to my suggestion by hard punches with his elbow, 
as signals to me to remain silent. I next strained my eyes, with 
equally bad success, to see if, among the sea of up-turned faces 

202 ROB ROY. 

which bent their eyes on the pulpit as a common centre, I could 
discover the sober and business-like physiognomy of Owen. But 
not among the broad beavers of the Glasgow citizens, or the yet 
broader brimmed Lowland bonnets of the peasants of Lanarkshire, 
could I see anything resembling the decent periwig, starched ruffles, 
or the uniform suit of light-brown garments, appertaining to the 
head-clerk of the establishment of Osbaldistone and Tresham. 
My anxiety now returned on me with such violence as to overpower 
not only the novelty of the scene around me, by which it had 
hitherto been diverted, but moreover my sense of decorum. I 
pulled Andrew hard by the sleeve, and intimated my wish to leave 
the church, and pursue my investigation as I could. Andrew, ob- 
durate in the Laigh Kirk of Glasgow as on the mountains of Cheviot, 
for some time deigned me no answer ; and it was only when he 
found I could not otherwise be kept quiet, that he condescended to 
inform me, that, being once in the church, we could not leave it till 
service was over, because the doors were locked so soon as the 
prayers began. Having thus spoken in a brief and peevish whisper, 
Andrew again assumed the air of intelligent and critical impor- 
tance, and attention to the preacher's discourse. 

While I endeavoured to make a virtue of necessity, and recall 
my attention to the sermon, I was again disturbed by a singular 
interruption. .A voice from behind whispered distinctly in my 
ear, " You are in danger in this city." — I turned round, as if 

One or two starched and ordinarily-looking mechanics stood 
beside and behind me, stragglers, who, like ourselves, had been 
too late in obtaining entrance. But a glance at their faces satisfied 
me, though I could hardly say why, that none of these was the 
person who had spoken to me. Their countenances seemed all 
composed to attention to the sermon, and not one of them returned 
any glance of intelligence to the inquisitive and startled look with 
which I surveyed them. A massive round pillar, which was close 
behind us, might have concealed the speaker the instant he uttered 
his mysterious caution ; but wherefore it was given in such a place, 
or to what species of danger it directed my attention, or by whom 
the warning was uttered, were points on which my imagination lost 
itself in conjecture. It would, however, I concluded, be repeated, 
and I resolved to keep my countenance turned towards the clergy- 
man, that the whisperer might be tempted to renew his communi- 
cation under the idea that the first had passed unobserved. 

My plan succeeded. I had not resumed the appearance of 
attention to the preacher for five minutes, when the same voice 
whispered, " Listen — but do not look back." I kept my face in the 

ROB ROY. 203 

same direction. " You are in danger in this place," the voice pro- 
ceeded ; " so am I. — Meet me to-night on the Brigg, at twelve 
preceesely — keep at home till the gloaming, and avoid observation." 

Here the voice ceased, and I instantly turned my head. But the 
speaker had, with still greater promptitude, glided behind the 
pillar, and escaped my observation. I was determined to catch a 
sight of him, if possible, and, extricating myself from the outer 
circle of hearers, I also stepped behind the column. All there was 
empty ; and I could only see a figure wrapped in a mantle, whether 
a Lowland cloak, or Highland plaid, I could not distinguish, which 
traversed, like a phantom, the dreary vacuity of vaults which I 
have described. 

I Jnade a mechanical attempt to pursue the mysterious form, 
which glided away, and vanished in the vaulted cemetery, like the 
spectre of one of the numerous dead who rested within its pre- 
cincts. I had little chance of arresting the course of one obviously 
determined not to be spoken with ; but that little chance was lost 
by my stumbling and falling before I ha:d made three steps from 
the column. The obscurity which occasioned my misfortune 
covered my disgrace ; which I accounted rather lucky, for the 
preacher, with that stern authority which the Scottish ministers 
assume for the purpose of keeping order in their congregations, 
interrupted his discourse, to desire the " proper officer " to take 
into custody the causer of this disturbance in the place of worship. 
As the noise, however, was not repeated, the beadle, or whatever 
else he was called, did not think it necessary to be rigorous in 
searching out the offender ; so that I was enabled, without attract- 
ing farther observation, to place myself by Andrew's side in my 
original position. The service proceeded, and closed without the 
occurrence of anything else worthy of notice. 

As the congregation departed and dispersed, my friend Andrew 
exclaimed, " See, yonder is worthy Mr. MacVittie and Mrs. Mac- 
Vittie, and Miss Alison MacVittie, and Mr. Thamas MacFin, that 
they say is to marry Miss Alison, if a' bowls row right — she'll hae 
a hantle siller, if she 's no that bonny." 

My eyes took the direction he pointed out. Mr. MacVittie was 
a tall, thin, elderly man, with hard features, thick grey eyebrows, 
light eyes, and, as I imagined, a sinister expression of countenance, 
from which my heart recoiled. I remembered the warning I had 
received in the church, and hesitated to address this person, 
though I could not allege to myself any rational ground of dislike 
or suspicion. 

I was yet in suspense, when Andrew, who mistook my hesitation 
for bashfulness, proceeded to exhort me to lay it aside. " Speak 

204 ROB ROY . 

till him— speak till him, Mr. Francis— he 's no provost yet, tliough 
they say he '11 be my lord neist year. , Speak till him, then— he '11 
gie ye a decent answer for as rich as he is, unless ye were wanting 
siller frae him— they say he's dour to draw his purse." 

It immediately occurred to me, that if this merchant were really 
of the churlish and avaricious disposition which Andrew inti- 
mated, there might be some caution necessary in making myself 
known, as I could not tell how accounts might stand between my 
father and him. This consideration came in aid of the mysterious 
hint which I had received, and the dislike which I had conceived 
at the man's countenance. Instead of addressing myself directly 
to him, as I had designed to have done, I contented myself with 
desiring Andrew to inquire at Mr. MacVittie's house the address 
of Mr. Owen, an English gentleman ; and I charged him not to 
mention the person from whom he received the commission, but 
to bring me the result to the small inn where we lodged. This 
Andrew promised to do. He said something of the duty of my 
attending the evening service ; but added, with a causticity natural 
to him, that " in troth, if folk couldna keep their legs still, but wad 
needs be couping the creels ower through-stanes, as if they wad 
raise the very dead folk wi' the clatter, a kirk wi' a chimley in't was 
fittest for them." 


On the Rialto, every night at twelve, 
I take my evening's walk of meditation : 
There we two will meet. 

Venice Preserved. 

Full of sinister augury, for which, however, I could assign no 
satisfactory cause, I shut myself up in my apartment at the inn, 
and having dismissed Andrew, after resisting his importunity to 
accompany him to St. Enoch's Kirk,* where, he said, " a soul- 
searching divine was to baud forth," I set myself seriously to con- 
sider what were best to be done. I never was what is properly 
called superstitious ; but I suppose that all men, in situations of 
peculiar doubt and difficulty, when they have exercised their reason 
to little purpose, are apt, in a sort of despair, to abandon the reins 
to their imagination, and be guided either altogether by chance, or 
by those whimsical impressions which take possession of the mind, 
and to which we give way as if to involuntary impulses. There 
was something so singularly repulsive in the hard features of the 
Scotch trader, that I could not resolve to put myself into his hands 


without transgressing every caution which could be derived from 
the rules of physiognomy ; while, at the same time, the warning 
voice, the form which flitted away like a vanishing shadow through 
those vaults, which might be termed " the valley of the shadow of 
death," had something captivating for the imagination of a young 
man, who, you will farther please to remember, was also a young 

If danger was around me, as the mysterious communication 
intimated, how could I learn its nature, or the means of averting it, 
but by meeting my unknown counsellor, to whom I could see no 
reason for imputing any other than kind intentions. Rashleigh 
and his machinations occurred more than once to my remem- 
brance ; but so rapid had my journey been, that I could not sup- 
pose him apprised of my arrival in Glasgow, much less prepared 
to play off any stratagem against my person. In my temper also 
I was bold and confident, strong and active in person, and in some 
measure accustomed to the use of arms, in which the Fi;ench youth 
of all kinds were then initiated. I did not fear any single oppo- 
nent ; assassination was neither the vice of the age nor of the 
country ; the place selected for our meeting was too public to admit 
any suspicion of meditated violence. In a word, I resolved to 
meet my mysterious counsellor on the bridge, as he had requested, 
and to be afterwards guided by circumstances. Let me not con- 
ceal from you, Tresham, what at the time I endeavoured to conceal 
from myself — the subdued, yet secretly-cherished hope, that Diana 
Vernon might — by what chance I knew not — through what means 
I could not guess— have some connection with this strange and 
dubious intimation, conveyed at a time and place, and in a manner 
so surprising. She alone — whispered this insidious thought — she 
alone knew of my journey ; from her own account, she possessed 
friends and influence in Scotland : she had furnished me with a 
talisman, whose power I was to invoke when all other aid failed 
me : who, then, but Diana Vernon, possessed either means, know- 
ledge, or inclination for averting the dangers, by which, as it 
seemed, my steps were surrounded ? This flattering view of my 
very doubtful case pressed itself upon me again and again. It 
insinuated itself into my thoughts, though very bashfully, before 
the hour of dinner ; it displayed its attractions more boldly during; 
the course of my frugal meal, and became so courageously intru- 
sive during the succeeding half hour (aided perhaps by the flavotir 
of a few glasses of most excellent claret), that, with a sort of despe- 
rate attempt to escape from a delusive seduction, to which I felt 
the danger of yielding, I pushed my glass from me, threw aside 
my dinner, seized my hat, and rushed into the open air with the 

2o6 ROB ROY. 

feeling of one who would fly from his own thoughts. Yet perhaps 
I yielded to the very feelings from which I seemed to fly, since my 
steps insensibly led me to the bridge over the Clyde, the place 
assigned for the rendezvous by my mysterious monitor. 

Although I had not partaken of my repast until the hours of 
evening church-service were over, — in which, by the way, I com- 
plied with the religious scruples of my landlady, who hesitated to 
dress a hot dinner between sermons, and also with the admonition 
of my unknown friend, to keep my apartment till twilight, — 
several hours had still to pass away betwixt the time of my appoint- 
ment and that at which I reached the assigned place of meeting. 
The interval, as you will readily credit, was wearisome enough ; 
and I can hardly explain to you how it passed away. Various 
groups of persons, all of whom, young and old, seemed impressed 
with a reverential feeling of the sanctity of the day, passed along 
the large open meadow which lies on the northern bank of the 
Clyde, and serves at once as a bleaching-field and pleasure-walk 
for the inhabitants, or paced with slow steps the long bridge which 
communicates with the southern district of the county. All that I 
remember of them was the general, yet not unpleasing, intima- 
tion of a devotional character impressed on each little party, 
formally assumed perhaps by some, but sincerely characterising 
the greater number, which hushed the petulant gaiety of the 
young into a tone of more quiet, yet more interesting, interchange 
of sentiments, and suppressed the vehement argument and pro- 
tracted disputes of those of more advanced age. Notwithstand- 
ing the numbers who passed me, no general sound of the human 
voice was heard ; few turned again to take some minutes' volun- 
tary exercise, to which the leisure of the evening, and the beauty 
of the surrounding scenery, seemed to invite them : all hurried to 
their homes and resting-places. To one accustomed to the mode 
of spending Sunday evenings abroad, even among the French Cal- 
vinists, there seemed something Judaical,' yet at the same time 
striking and affecting, in this mode of keeping the Sabbath holy. 
Insensibly I felt my mode of sauntering by the side of thp river, 
and crossing successively the various persons who were passing 
homeward, and without tarrying or delay, must expose me to 
observation at least, if not to censure ; and I slunk out of the 
frequented path, and found a trivial occupation for my mind in 
marshalling my i-evolving walk in such a manner as should least 
render me obnoxious to observation. The different alleys lined 
out through this extensive meadow, and which are planted with 
trees, like the Park of St. James's in London, gave me facilities for 
carrying into effect these childish manoeuvres. 

ROB ROY. 207 

As I walked down one of these avenues, I heard, to my surprise, 
the sharp and conceited voice of Andrew Fairservice, raised by a 
sense of self-consequence to a pitch somewhat higher than others 
seemed to think consistent with the solemnity of the day. To slip 
behind the row of trees under which I walked was perhaps no very 
dignified proceeding ; but it was the easiest mode of escaping his 
observation, and perhaps his impertinent assiduity, and still more 
intrusive curiosity. As he passed, I heard him communicate to a 
grave-looking man, in a black coat, a slouched hat, and Geneva 
cloak, the following sketch of a character, which my self-love, 
while revolting against it as a caricature, could not, nevertheless, 
refuse to recognise as a likeness. 

" Ay, ay, Mr. Hammorgaw, it's e'en as. I tell ye. He's no 
a'thegether sae void o' sense neither ; he has a gloaming sight 
o' what's reasonable — that is ance and awa' — a glisk and nae mair ; 
but he's crack-brained and cockle-headed about his nipperty- 
tipperty poetry nonsense — He'll glowr at an auld-warld barkit aik- 
snag as if it were a queez-maddam in full bearing ; and a naked 
craig, wi' a burn jawing ower't, is unto him as a garden garnisht 
with flowering knots and choice pot-herbs ; then he wad rather 
claver wi' a daft quean they ca' Diana Vernon (weel I wot they 
might ca' her Diana of the Ephesians, for she's little better than a 
heathen — better? she's waur — a Roman, a mere Roman) — he'll 
claver Wi' her, or any ither idle slut, rather than hear what might 
do him gude a' the days of his life, frae you or me, Mr. Hammor- 
gaw, or ony ither sober and sponsible person. Reason, sir, is what 
he canna endure — he's a' for your vanities and volubilities ; and he 
ance tell'd me (puir blinded creature !) that the Psalms of David 
were excellent poetry ! as if the holy Psalmist thought o' rattling 
rhymes in a blether, like his ain silly clinkum-clankum things that 
he ca's verse. Gude help him ! twa lines o' Davie Lindsay wad 
ding a' he ever clerkit." 

While listening to this perverted account of my temper and 
studies, you will not be surprised if I meditated for Mr. Fairservice 
the unpleasant surprise of a broken pate on the first decent oppor- 
tunity. His friend only intimated his attention by " Ay, ay!" and 
" Is?t e'en sae ?" and such like expressions of interest, at the proper 
breaks in Mr. Fairservice's harangue, until at length, in answer 
to some observation of greater length, the import of which I only 
collected from my trusty guide's reply, honest Andrew answered, 
" Tell him a bit o' my mind, quoth ye ? — Wha wad be fule then 
but Andrew ? — He's a red-wud deevil, man — He's like Giles Hea- 
thertap's auld boar ; ye need but shake a clout at him to make him 
turn and gore. Bide wi' him, say ye ? — Troth, I kenna what for 

2o8 ROB ROY. 

I bide wi' him mysell.— But the lad's no a bad lad after a' ; and he 
needs some carefu' body to look after him. He hasna the right 
grip o' his hand — the gowd slips through't hke water, man ; and it's 
no that ill a thing to be near him when his purse is in his hand, 
and it's seldom out o't. And then he's come o' guid kith and kin 
— My heart warms to the poor thoughtless callant, Mr. Hammor- 

gaw — and then the penny fee" • 

, In the latter part of this instructive communication, Mr. Fair- 
service lowered his voice to a tone better beseeming the conversa- 
tion in a place of public resort on a Sabbath evening, and his 
companion and he were soon beyond my hearing. My feelings of 
hasty resentment soon subsided, under the conviction that, as 
Andrew himself might have said, " A hearkener always hears a 
bad tale of himself," and that whoever should happen to overhear 
their character discussed in their own servants'-hall, must prepare 
to undergo the scalpel of some such anatomist as Mr. Fairservice. 
The incident was so far useful, as, including the feelings to which 
it gave rise, it sped away a part of the time which hung so heavily 
on my hand. 

Evening had now closed, and the growing darkness gave to the 
broad, still, and deep expanse of the brimful river, first a hue 
sombre and uniform, then a dismal and turbid appearance, parti- 
ally lighted by a waning and pallid moon. The massive and ancient 
bridge which stretches across the Clyde, was now but dimly visible, 
and resembled that which Mirza, in his unequalled vision, has 
described as traversing the valley of Bagdad. The low-browed 
arches, seen as imperfectly as the dusky current which they be- 
strode, seemed rather caverns which swallowed up the gloomy 
waters of the river, than apertures contrived for their passage. 
With the advancing night the stillness of the scene increased. 
There was yet a twinkling light occasionally seen to glide along by 
the stream, which conducted home one or two of the small parties, 
who, after the abstinence and religious duties of the day, had 
partaken of a social supper, the only meal at which the rigid 
Presbyterians made some advance to sociality on the Sabbath. 
Occasionally, also, the hoofs of a horse were heard, whose rider, 
after spending the Sunday in Glasgow, was directing his steps 
towards his residence in the country. These sounds and sights 
became gradually of more rare occurrence. At length they alto- 
gether ceased, and I was left to enjoy my solitary walk on the 
shores of the Clyde in solemn silence, broken only by the tolling of 
the successive hours from the steeples of the churches. 

But as the night advanced, my impatience at the uncertainly of 
the situation in which I was placed increased every moment, and 

ROB ROY. 209 

became nearly ungovernable. I began to question whether I had 
been imposed upon by the trick of a fool, the raving of a madman, 
or the studied machination of a villain, and paced the little quay 
or pier adjoining the entrance to the bridge, in a state of incredible 
anxiety and vexation. At length the hour of twelve o'clock swung 
its summons over the city from the belfry of the metropolitan 
church of St. Mungo, and was answered and vouched by all the 
others like dutiful diocesans. The echoes had scarcely ceased to 
repeat the last sound, when a human form — the first I had seen for 
two hours — appeared passing along the bridge from the southern 
shore of the river. I advanced to meet him, with a feeling as if 
my fate depended on the result of the interview, so much had my 
anxiety been wound up by protracted expectation. All that I 
could remark of the passenger as we advanced towards each other 
was, that his frame was rather beneath than above the middle size, 
but apparently strong, thick-set, and muscular ; his dress a horse- 
man's wrapping coat. I slackened my pace, and almost paused as 
I advanced, in expectation that he would address me. But to my 
inexpressible disappointment, he passed without speaking, and I 
had no pretence for being the first to address one who, notwith- 
standing his appearance at the very hour of appointment, might 
nevertheless be an absolute stranger. I stopped when he had 
passed me, and looked after him, uncertain whether I ought not to 
follow him. The stranger walked on till near the northern end of 
the bridge, then paused, looked back, and turning round, again 
advanced towards me. I resolved that this time he should not 
have the apology for silence proper to apparitions, who, it is 
vulgarly supposed, cannot speak until they are spoken to. " You 
walk late, sir," said I, as we met a second time. 

" I bide tryste," was the reply; "and so I think do you, Mr. 

" You are then the person who requested to meet me here at this 
unusual hour?" 

" I am," he replied. " FoUow me, and you shall know my 

" Before following you, I must know your name and purpose," 
I answered. 

" I am a man," was the reply; "and my purpose is friendly 
to you." 

" A man ! " I repeated ; " that is a very brief description." 

" It will serve for one who has no other to give," said the 
stranger. "He that is without name, without friends, without 
coin, without country, is still at least a man ; and he that has all 

these is no more." 



"Yet this is still too general an account of yourself, to say the 
least of it, to establish your credit with a stranger." 

" It is all I mean to give, howsoe'er ; you may choose to follow 
me, or to remain without the information I desire to afford you." 

" Can you not give me that information here ? " I demanded. 

" You must receive it from your eyes, not from my tongue ; — 
you must follow me, or remain in ignorance of the information 
which I have to give you." 

There was something short, determined, and even stern, in the 
man's manner, not certainly well calculated to conciliate undoubt- 
ing confidence. 

" What is it you fear ?" he said, impatiently. " To whom, think 
ye, is your life of such consequence, that they should seek to 
bereave ye of it?" 

" I fear ijothing," I replied, firmly, though somewhat hastily. 
" Walk on— I attend you." 

We proceeded, contrary to my expectation, to re-enter the town, 
and glided like mute spectres, side by side, up its empty and silent 
streets. The high and gloomy stone fronts, with the variegated 
ornaments and pediments of the windows, looked yet taller and 
more sable by the imperfect moonshine. Our walk was for some 
minutes in perfect silence. At length my conductor spoke. 

" Are you afraid ? " 

" I retort your own words," I replied: "wherefore should I fear?" 

" Because you are with a stranger — ^perhaps an enemy, in a place 
where you have no friends and many enemies." 

" I neither fear you nor them ; I am young, active, and armed." 

"I am not armed," replied my conductor: "but, no matter, a 
willing hand never lacked weapon. You say you fear nothing; 
but if you knew who was by your side, perhaps you might underlie 
a tremor." 

" And why should I ? " replied I. " I again repeat, I fear nought 
that you can do." 

"Nought that I can do? — Be it so. But do you not fear the 
consequences of being found with one whose very name whispered 
in this lonely street would make the stones themselves rise up to 
apprehend him— on whose head half the men in Glasgow would 
build their fortune as on a found treasure, had they the luck to 
grip him by the collar— the sound of whose apprehension were as 
welcome at the Cross of Edinburgh as ever the news of a field 
stricken and won in Flanders ?" 

" And who then are you, whose name should create so deep a 
feeling of terror ? " I replied. 

"No enemy of yours, since I am conveying you to a place, 

ROB ROY. 211 

where, were I myself recognised and identified, iron to the heels, 
and hemp to the craig, would be my brief dooming." 

I paused and stood still on the pavement, drawing back so as to 
have the most perfect view of my companion which the light 
afforded, and which was sufficient to guard me against any sudden 
motion of assault. 

" You have said," I answered, " either too much or too little — 
too much to induce me to confide in you as a mere stranger, since 
you avow yourself a person amenable to the laws of the country in 
which we are — and too little, unless you could show that you are 
unjustly subjected to their rigour." 

As I ceased to speak, he made a step towards me. I drew back 
instinctively, and laid my hand on the hilt of my swoj-d. 

" What," said he, " on an unarmed man, and your friend ?" 

" I am yet ignorant if you are either the one or the other," I 
replied ; " and, to say the truth, your language and manner might 
well entitle me to doubt both." 

" It is manfully spoken," replied my conductor; "and I respect 
him whose hand can keep his head — I will be frank and free with 
you — I am conveying you to prison." 

" To prison ! " I exclaimed ; " by what warrant, or for what 
offence ? — You shaU have my life sooner than my liberty — I defy 
you, and I will not follow you a step farther." 

" I do not," he said, " carry you there as a prisoner ; I am," he 
added, drawing himself haughtily up, " neither a messenger nor 
sheriff's olificer ; I carry you to see a prisoner from whose lips you 
will learn the risk in which you presently stand. Your liberty is 
little risked by the visit ; mine is in some peril ; but that I readily 
encounter on your account, for I care not for risk, and I love a free 
young blood, that kens no protector but the cross o' the sword." 
• While he spoke thus, we had reached the principal street, and 
were pausing before a large building of hewn stone, garnished, as I 
thought I could perceive, with gratings of iron before the windows. 

" Muckle," said the stranger, whose language became more 
broadly national as he assumed a tone of colloquial freedom — 
" Muckle wad the provost and bailies of Glasgow gie to hae him 
sitting with iron garters to his hose within their tolbooth, that now 
stands wi' his legs as free as the red-deer's on the outside on't. 
And little wad it avail them ; for an if they had me there wi' a 
stane's weight o' iron at every ankle, I would show them a toom 
room and a lost lodger before to-morrow — But come on, what stint 
ye for?" 

As he spoke thus, he tapped at a low wicket, and was answered by 
a sharp voice, as of one awakened from a dream or reverie, — " Fa's 

o 2 

212 ROB ROY. 

tat?— Wha's that, I wad say? — and fat a deil want ye at this hour 
at e'en ? — Clean again rules— clean again rules, as they ca' them." 

The protracted tone in which the last words were uttered, be- 
tokened that the speaker was again composing himself to slumber. 
But my guide spoke in a loud whisper, " Dougal, man ! hae ye 
forgotten Ha nun Gregarach ? " 

" Deil a bit, deil a bit," was the ready and lively response, and I 
heard the internal guardian of the prison-gate bustle up with great 
alacrity. A few words were exchanged between my conductor and 
the turnkey, in a language to which 1 was an absolute stranger. 
The bolts revolved, but with a caution which marked the appre- 
hension that the noise might be overheard, and we stood within the 
vestibule of the prison of Glasgow, a small, but strong guardrroom, 
from which a narrow staircase led upwards, and one or two low 
entrances conducted to apartments on the same level with the out- 
ward gate, all secured with the jealous strength of wickets, bolts, 
and bars. The walls, otherwise naked, were not unsuitably gar- 
nished with iron fetters, and other uncouth implements, which 
might be designed for purposes still more inhurtian, interspersed 
with partisans, guns, pistols of antique manflfacture, and other 
weapons of defence and offence. 

At finding myself so unexpectedly, fortuitously, and, as it were, 
by stealth, introduced within one of the legal fortresses of Scotland, 
I could not help recollecting my adventure in Northumberland, 
and fretting at the strange incidents which again, without any 
demerits of my own, threatened to place me in a dangerous and 
disagreeable collision with the laws of a country, which I visited 
only in the capacity of a stranger. 


" Look round thee, young Astolpho : here's the place 
Which men (for being poor) are sent to starve in ; — 
Rude remedy, I trow, for sore disease. 
Within these walls, stifled by damp and stench, 
' Doth Hope's fair torch expire ; and at the snuff, 

Ere yet 'tis quite extinct, rude, wild, and wayward, 
The desperate revelries of wild despair. 
Kindling their hell-born cressets, light to deeds 
That the poor captive would have died ere practis'd, 
Till bondage sunk his soul to his condition." 

The Prison, Scene III. Act L 

At my first entrance I turned an eager glance towards my con- 
ductor ; but the lamp in the vestibule was too low in flame to give 

ROB ROY. 213 

my curiosity any satisfaction by affording a distinct perusal of his 
features. As the turnkey held the light in his hand, the beams fell 
more full on his own scarce less interesting figure. He was a wild, 
shock-headed looking animal, whose profusion of red hair covered 
and obscured his features, which were otherwise only characterised 
by the extravagant joy that affected him at the sight of my guide. 
In my experience I have met nothing so absolutely resembling 
my idea of a very uncouth, wild, and ugly savage, adoring the idol 
of his tribe. He grinned, he shivered, he laughed, he was near 
crying, if he did not actually cry. He had a "Where shall I go? — 
What can I do for you ? " expression of face ; the complete, sur- 
rendered, and anxious subservience and devotion of which it is 
difficult to describe, otherwise than by the awkward combination 
which I have attempted. The fellow's voice seemed choking in 
his ecstasy, and only could express itself in such interjections as 
" Oigh ! oigh ! — Ay ! ay ! — it's lang since she's seen ye ! " and 
other exclamations equally brief, expressed in the same unknown 
tongue in which he had communicated with my conductor while 
we were on the outside of the jail door. My guide received all 
this excess of joyful gratulation much like a prince too early accus- 
tomed to the homage of those around him to be much moved by 
it, yet willing to requite it by the usual forms of royal courtesy. 
He extended his hand graciously towards the turnkey, with a civil 
inquiry of " How 's a' wi' you, Dougal ? " 

" Oigh ! oigh ! " exclaimed Dougal, softening the sharp excla- 
mations of his surprise as he looked around with an eye of watchful 
alarm — " Oigh ! to see you here — to see you here !— Oigh ! what 
will come o' ye gin the bailies suld come to get witting — ta filthy, 
gutty hallions, tat they are ? " 

My guide placed his finger on his lip, and said, " Fear nothing, 
Dougal ; your hand shall never draw a bolt on me." 

" Tat sail they no," said Dougal ; " she suld — she wad — ^that is, 
she wishes them hacked aff by the elbows first — But when are ye 
gaun yonder again ? and ye'U no forget to let her ken — she's your 
puir coiisin, God kens, only seven times removed." 

" I will let you ken, Dougal, as soon as my plans are settled." 

" And, by her sooth, when you do, an it were twal o' the Sunday 
at e'en, she'll fling her key's at the provost's head or she gie them 
anither turn, and that or ever Monday morning begins — see if she 

My mysterious stranger cut his acquaintance's ecstasies short by 
again addressing him, in what I afterwards understood to be the 
Irish, Earse, or Gaelic, explaining, probably, the services which he 
required at his hand. The answer, " Wi' a' her heart — wi' a' her 


soul," with a good deal of indistinct muttering in a similar tone, 
intimated the turnke/s acquiescence in what he proposed. The 
fellow trimmed his dying lamp, and made a sign to me to follow 

" Do you not go with us ?" said I, looking to my conductor. 

" It is unnecessary," he replied ; " my company may be incon- 
venient for you, and I had better remain to secure our retreat." 

" I do not suppose you mean to betray me to danger," said I. 

" To none but what I partake in doubly," answered the stranger, 
with a voice of assurance which it was impossible to mistrust. 

I followed the turnkey, who, leaving the inner wicket unlocked 
behind him, led me up a turnpike (so the Scotch call a winding 
stair), then along a narrow gallery — then opening one of several 
doors which led into the passage, he ushered me into a small 
apartment, and casting his eye on the pallet bed which occupied 
one corner, said with an under voice, as he placed the lamp on a 
little deal table, " She's sleeping." 

"She! — who? — can it be Diana Vernon in this abode of 
misery ? " 

I turned my eye to the bed, and it was with a mixture of disap- 
pointment oddly mingled with pleasure, that I saw my first sus- 
picion had deceived me. I saw a head neither young nor beautiful, 
garnished with a grey beard of two days' growth, and accommodated 
with a red nightcap. The first glance put me at ease on the score 
of Diana Vernon ; the second, as the slumberer awoke from a 
heavy sleep, yawned, and rubbed his eyes, presented me with 
features very different indeed^even those of my poor friend Owen. 
I drew back out of view an instant, that he might have time to 
recover himself; fortunately recollecting that I was but an in- 
truder on these cells of sorrow, and that any alarm might be 
attended with unhappy consequences. 

Meantime, the unfortunate formalist, raising himself from the 
paUet-bed with the assistance of one hand, and scratching his cap 
with the other, exclaimed, in a voice in which as much peevish- 
ness as he was capable of feeling, contended with drowsiness, " I'll 
tell you what, Mr. Dugwell, or whatever your name may be, the 
sum-total of the matter is, that if my natural rest is to be broken 
in this manner, I must complain to the lord mayor." 

" Shentlemans to speak wi' her," replied Dougal, resuming the 
true dogged sullen tone of a turnkey, in exchange for the shrill 
clang of Highland congratulation with which he had welcomed my 
mysterious guide ; and, turning on his heel, he left the apartment. 

It was some time before J could prevail upon the unfortunate 
sleeper awakening, to recognise me ; and when he did so, the dis- 


tress of the worthy creature was extreme at supposing, which he 
naturally did, that I had been sent thither as a partner of his 

" O, Mr. Frank, what have you brought yourself and the house 
to? — I think nothing of myself, that am a mere cipher, so to 
speak ; but you that was your father's sum-total — his omnium, — 
you that might have been the first man in the first house in the 
first city, to be shut up in a nasty Scotch jail, where one cannot 
even get the dirt brushed off their clothes ! " 

He rubbed, with an air of peevish irritation, the once stainless 
brown coat, which had now shared some of the impurities of the 
floor of his prison-house, — his habits of extreme punctilious neatness 
acting mechanically to increase his distress. 

"O Heaven be gracious to us!" he continued. "What news 
this will be on 'Change ! There has not the like come there since 
the battle of Ahnanza, where the total of the British loss was 
summed up to five thousand men killed and wounded, besides a 
floating balance of missing — but what will that be to the news that 
Osbaldistone and Tresham have stopped ! " 

I broke in on his lamentations to acquaint him that I was no 
prisoner, though scarce able to account for my being in that place 
at such an hour. I could only silence his inquiries by persisting 
in those which his own situation suggested ; and at length obtained 
from him such information as he was able to give me. It was 
none of the most distinct ; for, however clear-headed in his own 
routine of commerciar business, Owen, you are well aware, was not 
very acute in comprehending what lay beyond that sphere. 

The sum of his information was, that of two correspondents of 
my father's firm at Glasgow, where, owing to engagements in 
Scotland formerly alluded to, he transacted a great deal of busi- 
ness, both my father and Owen had found the house of MacVittie, 
MacFin, and Company, the most obliging and accommodating. 
They had deferred to the great English house on every possible 
occasion ; and in their bargains and transactions acted, without 
repining, the part of the jackall, who only claims what the lion is 
pleased to leave him. However small the share of profit allotted 
to them, it was always, as they expressed it, " enough for the like 
of them ; " however large the portion of trouble, " they were 
sensible they could not do too much to deserve the continued 
patronage and good opinion of their honoured friends in Crane 

The dictates of my father were to MacVittie and MacFin the 
laws of the Medes and Persians, not to be altered, innovated, or 
even discussed ; and the punctilios exacted by Owen in their 

2i6 ROB ROY. 

business transactions,for he was a great lover of form, more espe- 
cially when he could dictate it ex cathedra, seemed scarce less 
sanctimonious in their eyes. This tone of deep and respectful 
observance went all currently down with Owen ; but my father 
looked a little closer into men's bosoms, and whether suspicious of 
this excess of deference, or, as a lover of brevity and simplicity in 
business, tired with these gentlemen's long-winded professions of 
regard, he had uniformly resisted their desire to become his sole 
agents in Scotland. On the contrary, he transacted many affairs 
through a correspondent of a character perfectly different, — a man 
whose good opinion of himself amounted to self-conceit, and who, 
disliking the English in general as much as my father did the 
Scotch, would hold no communication but on a footing of absolute 
equality ; jealous, moreover ; captious occasionally ; as tenacious 
of his own opinions in point of form as Owen could be of his ; and 
totally indifferent though the authority of all Lombard-Street had 
stood against his own private opinion. 

As these peculiarities of temper rendered it difBcult to transact 
business with Mr. Nicol Jarvie, — as they occasioned at times dis- 
putes and coldness between the English house and their corre- 
spondent, which were only got over by a sense of mutual interest, 
— as, moreover, Owen's personal vanity sometimes suffered a little 
in the discussions to which they gave rise, you cannot be surprised, 
Tresham, that our old friend threw at Ml times the weight of his 
influence in favour of the civil, discreet, accommodating concern of 
MacVittie and MacFin, and spoke of Jarvie as a petulant, con- 
ceited Scotch pedlar, with whom there was no dealing. 

It was also not surprising, that in these circumstances, which I 
only learned in detail some time afterwards, Owen, in the diffi- 
culties to which the house was reduced by the absence of my 
father, and the disappearance of Rashleigh, should, on his arrival 
in Scotland, which took place two days before mine, have recourse to 
the friendship of those correspondents, who had always professed 
themselves obliged, gratified, and devoted to the service of his 
principal. He was received at Messrs. MacVittie and MacFin's 
counting-house in the Gallowgate, with something like the devo- 
tion a Catholic would pay to his tutelar saint. But, alas! this 
sunshine was soon overclouded, when, encouraged by the fair 
hopes which it inspired, he opened the difficulties of the house to 
his friendly correspondents, and requested their counsel and 
assistance. MacVittie was almost stunned by the communication ; 
and MacFin, ere it was completed, was already at the ledger of 
their firm, and deeply engaged in the very bowels of the multitu- 
dinous accounts between their house and that of Osbaldistone and 

ROB ROY. 217 

Tresham, for the purpose of discovering on which side the balance 
lay ! Alas ! the scale depressed considerably against the English 
firm; and the faces of MacVittie and MacFin, hitherto only blank 
and doubtful, became now ominous, grim, and lowering. They 
met Mr. Owen's request of countenance and assistance, with a 
counte;r-demand of instant security against imminent hazard of 
eventual loss ; and at length, speaking more plainly, required that 
a deposit of assets, destined for other purposes, should be placed 
in their hands for that purpose. Owen repelled this demand with 
great indignation, as dishonourable to his constituents, unjust to 
the other creditors of Osbaldistone and Tresham, and very un- 
grateful on the part of those by whom it was made. 

The Scotch partners gained, in the course of this controversy, 
what is very convenient to persons who are in the wrong, an oppor- 
tunity and pretext for putting themselves in a violent passion, and 
for taking, under the pretext of the provocation they had received, 
measures to which some sense of decency, if not of conscience, 
might otherwise have deterred them from resorting. 

Owen had a small share, as I believe is usual, in the house to 
which he acted as head-clerk, and was therefore personally liable 
for all its obligations. This was known to Messrs. MacVittie and 
MacFin ; and, with a view of making him feel their power, or 
rather in order to force him, at this emergency, into those measures 
in their favour, to which he had expressed himself so repugnant, 
they had recourse to a summary process of arrest and imprison- 
ment, which it seems the law of Scotland (therein surely liable to 
much abuse) allows to a creditor, who finds his conscience at 
liberty to make oath that the debtor meditates departing from the 
realm. Under such a warrant had poor Owen been confined to 
durance on the day preceding that when I was so strangely guided 
to his prison-house. 

Thus possessed of the alarming outline of facts, the question 
remained, what was to be done .■' and it was not of easy determina- 
tion. I plainly perceived the perils with which we were surrounded, 
but it was more difficult to suggest any remedy. The warning 
which I had already received seemed to intimate, that my own 
personal liberty might be endangered by an open appearance in 
Owen's behalf. Owen entertained the same apprehension, and, in 
the exaggeration of his terror, assured me that a Scotchman, rather 
than run the risk of losing a farthing by an Englishman, would find 
law for arresting his wife, children, man-servant, maid-servant, and 
stranger within his household. The laws concerning debt, in most 
countries, are so unmercifully severe, that I could not altogether 
disbelieve his sta:tement ; and my arrest, in the present circum- 

2i8 ROB ROY. 

stances, would have been a, cotip-de-grace to my father's affairs. 
In this dilemma, I asked Owen if he had not thought of having 
recourse to my father's other correspondent in Glasgow, Mr. Nicol 
Jarvie ? 

" He had sent him a letter," he replied, " that morning ; but if 
the smooth-tongued and civil house in the Gallowgate had used 
him» thus, what was to be expected from the cross-grained crab- 
stock in the Salt-Market ? You might as well ask a broker to give 
up his per centage, as expect a favour from him without the fer 
contra. He had not even," Owen said, "answered his letter, 
though it was put into his hand that morning as he went to 
church." And here the despairing man-of-figures threw himself 
down on his pallet, exclaiming — " My poor dear master ! — my poor 
dear master ! O, Mr. Frank, Mr. Frank, this is all your obstinacy ! 
But God forgive me for saying so to you in your distress ! It's 
God's disposing, and man must submit." 

My philosophy, Tresham, could not prevent my sharing in- the 
honest creature's distress, and we mingled our tears, the more 
bitter on my part, as the perverse opposition to my father's will, 
with which the kind-hearted Owen forbore to upbraid me, rose up 
to my conscience as the cause of all this affliction. 

In the midst of our mingled sorrow, we were disturbed and sur- 
prised by a loud knocking at the outward door of the prison. I ran 
to the top of the staircase to listen, but could only hear the voice 
of the turnkey, alternately in a high tone, answering to some 
person without, and in a whisper, addressed to the person who had 
guided me hither : " She's coming' — she's coming," aloud ; then in 
a low key, " O hon-a-ri ! O hon-a-ri ! what'U she do now ? — Gang 
up ta stair, and hide yoursell ahint ta Sassenach shentleman's ped. 
She's coming as fast as she can.— Ahellanay ! it's my lord provosts, 
and ta pailies, and ta guard — and ta captain's coming toon stairs 
too — Got pless her ! gang up or he meets her. — She's coming — she's 
coming — ta lock's sair roosted." 

While Dougal, unwillingly, and with as much delay as possible, 
undid the various fastenings to give admittance to those without, 
whose impatience became clamorous, my guide ascended the wind- 
ing stair, and sprang into Owen's apartment, into which I followed 
him. He cast his eyes hastily round, as if looking for a placs of 
conceahnent ; then said to me, " Lend me your pistols — ^yet it's no 
matter, I can do without them — Whatever you see, take no heed, 
and do not mix your hand in another man's feud — This gear's 
mine, and I must manage it as I dow ; but I have been as hard 
bested, and worse, than I am even now." 

As the stranger spoke these words, he stripped from his person 

ROB ROY. 219 

the cumbrous upper coat in which he was wrapt, confroiUed the 
door of the apartment, on which he fixed a keen and determined 
glance, drawing his person a httle back to concentrate his force, 
like a fine horse brought up to the leaping bar. I had not a mo- 
ment's doubt that he meant to extricate himself from his embarrass- 
ment, whatever might be the cause of it, by springing full upon 
those who should appear when the doors opened, and forcing his 
way through all opposition into the street ; and such was the ap- 
pearance of strength and agility displayed in his frame, and of 
determination in his look and manner, that I did not doubt a 
moment but that he might get clear through his opponents, unless 
they employed fatal means to stop his purpose. 

It was a period of awful suspense betwixt the opening of the 
outward gate and that of the door of the apartment, when there 
appeared — no guard with bayonets fixed, or watch with clubs, bills, 
or partisans, but a good-looking young woman, with grogram petti- 
coats, tucked up for trudging through the streets, and holding a 
lantern in her hand. This female ushered in a more important 
personage, in form stout, short, and somewhat corpulent ; and by 
dignity, as it soon appeared, a magistrate, bobwigged, bustling, 
and breathless with peevish impatience. My conductor, at his 
appearance, drew back as if to escape observation ; but he could 
not elude the penetrating twinkle with which this dignitary recon- 
noitered the whole apartment. 

" A bonny thing it is, and a beseeming, that I should be kept at 
the door half an hour. Captain Stanchells," said he, addressing the 
principal jailor, who now showed himself at the door as if in at- 
tendance on the great man, "knocking as hard to get into the 
tolbooth as onybody else wad to get out of it, could that avail 
them, poor fallen creatures ! — And how's this ? — how's this ? — 
strangers in the jail after lock-up hours, and on the Sabbath even- 
ing ! — I shall look after this, Stanchells, you may depend on't — 
Keep the door locked, and I'll speak to these gentlemen in a glififing 
— But first I maun hae a crack wi' an auld acquaintance here. — 
Mr. Owen, Mr. Owen, how 's a' wi' ye, man ?" 

" Pretty well in body, I thank you, Mr. Jarvie,'' drawled out poor 
Owen, "but sore afilicted in spirit." 

" Nae doubt, nae doubt — ay, ay — it's an awfu' whummle — and 
for ane that held his head sae high too — ^humftn nature, human 
nature — Ay, ay, we're a' subject to a downcome. Mr. Osbaldistone 
is a gude honest gentleman ; but I aye said he was ane o' them 
wad mak a spune or spoil a horn, as my father the worthy deacon 
used to say. The deacon used to say to me, ' Nick — ^young Nick,' 
(his name was Nicol as weel as mine ; sae folk ca'd us in their 

220 ROB ROY. 

dafBn', young Nick and auld Nick)—' Nick,' said he, ' never put 
out your arm farther than ye can easily back again.' I hae 
said sae to Mr. Osbaldistone, and he didna seem to take it a'the- 
gether sae kind as I wished — but it was weel meant — weel meant." 

This discourse, delivered with prodigious volubility, and a great 
appearance of self-complacency, as he recollected his own advice 
and predictions, gave little promise of assistance at the hands of 
Mr. Jarvie. Yet it soon appeared rather to proceed from a total 
want of delicacy than any deficiency of real kindness ; for when 
Owen expressed himself somewhat hurt that these things should 
be recalled to memory in his present situation, the Glaswegian 
took him by the hand, and bade him " Cheer up a gUff ! D'ye 
think I wad hae comed out at twal o'clock at night, and amaist 
broken the Lord's-day, just to tell a fa'en man o' his backslidings ? 
Na, na, that's no Bailie Jarvie's gate, nor was't his worthy father's 
the deacon afore him. Why, man ! it's my rule never to think on 
warldly business on the Sabbath, and though I did a' I could to 
keep your note that I gat this morning out o' my head, yet I 
thought mair on it a' day, than on the preaching — And it's my rule 
to gang to my bed wi' the yellow curtains preceesely at ten o'clock 
— unless I were eating a haddock wi' a neighbour, or a neighbour 
wi' me — ask the lass-quean there, if it isna a fundamental rule in 
my household ; and here hae I sitten up reading gude books, and 
gaping as if I wad swallow St. Enox Kirk, till it chappit twal, 
whilk was a lawfu' hour to gie a look at my ledger, just to see how 
things stood between us ; and then, as time and tide wait for no 
man, I made the lass get the lantern, and came slipping my ways 
here to see what can be dune anent your affairs. Bailie Jarvie can 
command entrance into the tolbooth at ony hour, day or night ; 
sae could my father the deacon in his time, honest man, praise to 
his memory." 

Although Owen groaned at the mention of the ledger, leading 
me grievously to fear that here also the balance stood in the wrong 
column ; and although the worthy magistrate's speech expressed 
much self-complacency, and some ominous triumph in his own 
superior judgment, yet it was blended with a sort of frank and 
blunt good-nature, from which I could not help deriving some 
hopes. He requested to see some papers he mentioned, snatched 
them hastily from Owen's hand, and sitting on the bed, to " rest 
his shanks," as he was pleased to express the accommodation 
which that posture afforded him, his servant girl held up the 
lantern to him, while, pshawing, muttering, and spattering, now at 
the imperfect light, now at the contents of the packet, he ran over 
the writings it contained. 

ROB ROY. 221 

Seeing him fairly engaged in this course of study, the guide who 
had brought me hither seemed disposed to take an unceremonious 
leave. He made a sign to me to say nothing, and intimated, by 
his change of posture, an intention to glide towards the door in 
such a manner as to attract the least possible observation. But 
the alert magistrate (very different from my old acquaintance Mr. 
Justice Inglewood) instantly detected and interrupted his purposes. 
" I say, look to the door, Stanchells — shut and lock it, and keep 
watch on the outside." 

The stranger's brow darkened, and he seemed for an instant 
again to meditate the effecting his retreat by violence ; but ere he 
had determined, the door closed, an4 the ponderous bolt revolved. 
He muttered an exclamation in Gaelic, strode across the floor, and 
then, with an air of dogged resolution, as if fixed and prepared to 
see the scene to an end, sate himself down on the oak table, and 
whistled a strathspey. 

Mr. Jarvie, who seemed very alert and expeditious in going 
through business, soon showed himself master of that which he 
had been considering, and addressed himself to Mr. Owen in the 
following strain: "Weel, Mr. Owen, weel — your house are awin' 
certain sums to Messrs. MacVittie and MacFin (shame fa' their 
souple snouts ! they made that and mair out o' a bargain about 
the aik-woods at Glen-Cailziechat, that they took out atween my 
teeth — wi' help o' your gude word, I maun needs say, Mr. Owen — 
but that makes nae odds now.) — Weel, sir, your house awes them 
this siller ; and for this, and relief of other engagements they stand 
in for you, they hae putten a double turn o' Stanchells' miickle key 
on ye. — Weel, sir, ye awe this siller — and maybe ye awe some mair 
to some other body too — maybe ye awe some to myself, Bailie 
Nicol Jarvie." 

" I cannot deny, sir, but the balance may of this date be brought out 
against us, Mr. Jarvie," said Owen ; " but you'll please to consider " — 

" I hae nae time to consider e'enow, Mr. Owen — Sae near Sab- 
bath at e'en, and out o' ane's warm bed at this time o' night, and a 
sort o' drow in the air besides — there's nae time for considering — 
But, sir, as I was saying, ye awe me money — it winna deny — ye awe 
me money, less or mair, I'll stand by it — But then, Mr. Owen, 
I cannna see how you, an active man that understands business, 
can redd out the business ye're come down about, and clear us a' 
aff — as I have gritt hope ye will — if ye're keepit lying here in the 
tolbooth of Glasgow. — Now, sir, if you can find caution y«rfz«o sisti, 
that is, that ye winna flee the country, but appear and relieve your 
caution when ca'd for in our legal courts, ye may be set at liberty 
this very morning." 

232 ROB ROY. 

" Mr. Jarvie,'' said Owen, " if any friend would become surety for 
me to that effect, my liberty might be usefully employed, doubtless, 
both for the house and all connected with it." 

" Aweel, sir," continued Jarvie, " and doubtless such a friend wad 
expect ye to appear when ca'd on, and relieve him o' his engage- 

"And I should do so as certainly, bating sickness or death, as 
that two and two make four." 

" Aweel, Mr. Owen," resumed the citizen of Glasgow, " I dinna 
misdoubt ye, and I'll prove it, sir — I'll prove it. I am a carefu' 
man, as is weel ken'd, and industrious, as the hale town can testify ; 
and I can win my crowns, and keep my crowns, and count my 
crowns, wi' onybody in the Saut-Market, or it may be in the Gallow- 
gate. And I'm a prudent man, as my father the deacon was before 
me ; but rather than an honest civil gentleman, that understands 
business, and is willing to do justice to all men, should lie by the 
heels this gate, unable to help himsell or onybody else — why, con- 
science, man ! I'll be your bail mysell — But ye'll mind it's a bail 
judicio sisti, as our town-clerk says, noi judicatum solvij ye'll mind 
that, for there's muckle difference." 

Mr. Owen assured him, that as matters then stood, he could 
not expect any one to become security for the actual payment of 
the debt, but that there was not the most distant cause for appre- 
hending loss from his failing to present himself when lawfully called 

" I believe ye — I believe ye. Eneugh said — eneugh said. We'se 
hae your legs loose by breakfast-time. — And now let's hear what 
thir chamber chiels o' yours hae to say for themselves, or how, in 
the name of unrule, they got here at this time o' night." 


Hame came our gudeman at e'en, 

And hame came be. 
And there he saw a man 

Where' a man suldna be. 
How's this now, kimmer ? 

How's this ? quo he, — 
How came this carle here. 

Without the leave o' me ? " 

Old Song, 

The magistrate took the light out of his servant-maid's hand, . 
and advanced to his scrutiny, like Diogenes in the street of 

ROB ROY. 223 

Athens, lantern-in-hand, and probably with as little expectation 
as that of the cynic, that he was likely to encounter any especial 
treasure in the course of his researches. The first whom he 
approached was my mysterious guide, who, seated on a table as I 
have already described him, with his eyes firmly fixed on the wall, 
his features arranged into the utmost inflexibility of expression, his 
hands folded on his breast with an air betwixt carelessness and defi- 
ance, his heel patting against the foot of the table, to keep time 
with the tune which he continued to whistle, submitted to Mr. 
Jarvie's investigation with an air of absolute confidence and 
assurance, which, for a moment, placed at fault the memory and 
sagacity of the acute and anxious investigator. 

" Ah ! — Eh ! — Oh !" exclaimed the Bailie. " My conscience ! — 
it's impossible! — and yet — no! — Conscience! it canna be! — and 
yet again — Deil hae me, that I suld say sae ! — Ye robber — ye 
cateran — ye born deevil that ye are, to a' bad ends and nae gude 
ane — can this be you ? " 

" E'en as ye see. Bailie," was the laconic answer. 

" Conscience ! if I am na clean bumbaized— j/o«, ye cheat-the- 
wuddy rogue, _j'(?M here on your venture in the tolbootho' Glasgow? 
— What d'ye think's the value o' your head ! " 

" Umph I — why, fairly weighed, and Dutch weight, it might 
weigh down one provost's, four bailies', a town-clerk's, six deacons', 
besides stent masters " 

" Ah, ye reiving villain ! " interrupted Mr. Jarvie. " But tell 
ower your sins, and prepare ye, for if I say the word"— — 

" True, Bailie," said he who was thus addressed, folding his hande 
behind him with the utmost nonchalance, "but ye will never say 
that word." 

" And why suld I not, sir ? " exclaimed the magistrate — " Why 
suld I not ? Answer me that — why suld I not ? " 

" For three sufficient reasons, Bailie Jarvie. — First, for auld lang- 
syne ; — second, for the sake of the auld wife ayont the fire at 
Stuckavrallachan, that made some mixture of our bluids, to my own 
proper shame be it spoken ! that has a cousin wi' accounts, and 
yam winnles, and looms and shuttles, like a mere mechanical per- 
son ; — and lastly. Bailie, because if I saw a sign o' your betraying 
me, I would plaster that wa' with your hams ere the hand of man 
could rescue you!" 

" Ye're a bauld desperate villain, sir," retorted the undaunted 
Bailie ; " and ye ken that I ken ye to be sae, and that I wadna 
stand a moment for my ain risk." 

" I ken weel," said the other ; " ye hae gentle bluid in your veins, 
and I wad be laith to hurt my ain kinsman. But I'U gang out 

224 ROB ROY. 

here as free as I came in, or the very wa's o' Glasgow tolbooth 
shall tell o't these ten years to come." 

" Weel, -weel," said Mr. Jarvie, " bluid's thicker than water ; and 
it liesna in kith, kin, and ally, to see motes in ilk other's een if 
other een see them no. It wad be sair news to the auld wife 
below the Ben of Stuckavrallachan, that you, ye Hieland hmmer, 
had knockit out my hams, or that I had kilted you up in a tow. 
But yell own, ye dour deevil, that were it no your very sell, I wad 
hae grippit the best man in the Hielands." 

"Ye wad ha^ tried, cousin," answered my guide, " that I wot 
weel ; but I doubt ye wad hae come aff wi' the short measure ; for 
we gang- there-out Hieland bodies are an" unchancy generation 
when you speak to us o' bondage. We downa bide the coercion of 
gude braid-claith about our hinderlans, let a be breeks o' freestone, 
and garters o' iron." 

" Ye'll find the stane breeks and the aim garters, ay, and the 
hemp cravat, for a' that, neighbour," replied the Bailie. " Nae man 
in a civilized country ever played the pliskies ye hae done — ^but e'en 
pickle in your ain pock-neuk — I ha'e gi'en ye warning." 

" Well, cousin," said the other, " ye'll wear black at my burial." 

" Deil a black cloak will be there, Robin, but the corbies and the 
hoodie-craws, I'se gie ye my hand on that. But whar's the gude 
thousand pund Scots that I lent ye, man, and when am I to see it 
again? " 

" Where it is," replied my guide, after the affectation of consider- 
ing for a moment, " I cannot justly tell — ^probably where last 
year's snaw is." 

" And that's on the tap of Schehallion, ye Hieland dog," said Mr. 
Jarvie ; " and I look for payment frae you where ye stand." 

" Ay," replied the Highlander, " but I keep neither snaw nor 
dollars in my sporran. And as to when you'll see it — ^why, just 
when the king enjoys his ain again, as the auld sang says." 

" Warst of a' Robin," retorted the Glaswegian, — " I mean, ye dis- 
loyal traitor — Warst of a' ! — Wad ye bring popery in on us, and 
arbitrary power, and a foist and a warming-pan, and the set forms, 
and the curates, and the auld enormities o' surplices and cearments ? 
Ye had better stick to your auld trade o' theft-boot, black-mail, 
spreaghs, and gillravaging— better stealing nowte than ruining 

" Hout, man— whisht wi' your whiggery," answered the Celt ; 
" we hae ken'd ane anither mony a lang day. I'se take care your 
counting-room is no cleaned out when the Gillon-a-naillie * come 
to redd up the Glasgow buiths, and clear them o' their auld shop- 
wares. And, unless it just fa' in the preceese way o' your duty. 

ROB ROY. 825 

ye maunna see me oftener, Nicol, than I am disposed to be 

" Ye are a dauring villain, Rob," answered the Bailie ; " and ye 
will be hanged, that will be seen and heard tell o' ; but I'se ne'er 
be the ill bird and foul my nest, set apart strong necessity and the 
skreigh of duty, which no man should hear and be in obedient. — And 
■wha the deevil's this ? " he continued, turning to me — " Some gill- 
Tavager that ye hae listed, I daur say. He looks as if he had a 
bauld heart to the highway, and a lang craig for the gibbet." 

" This, good Mr. Jarvie," said Owen, who, like myself, had been 
struck dumb during this strange recognition, and no less strange 
dialogue, which took place between these extraordinary kinsmen — 
" This, good Mr. Jarvie, is young Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, only 
child of the head of our house, who should have been taken into our 
firm at the time Mr. Rashleigh Osbaldistone, his cousin, had the 
luck to be taken into it " — (Here Owen could not suppress a groan) 
— " But, howsoever " 

" O, I have heard of that smaik," said the Scotch merchant, in- 
terrupting him ; " it is he whom your principal, like an obstinate 
auld fule, wad make a' merchant o', wad he or wad he no, and the 
lad turned a stroUing stage-player, in pure dislike to the labour an 
honest man should live by. — Weel, sir, what say you to your handi- 
wark? Will Hamlet the Dane, or Hamlet's ghost, be good secu- 
rity for Mr. Owen, Sir .' " 

" I don't deserve your taunt," I replied, " though I respect your 
motive, and am too grateful for the assistance you have afforded 
Mr. Owen, to resent it. My only business here was to do what I 
could (it was perhaps very little) to aid Mr. Owen in the manage- 
ment of my father's affairs. My dislike of the commercial profes- 
sion is a feeling of which I am the best and sole judge." 

" I protest," said the Highlander, " I had some respect for this 
callant even before I ken'd what was in him ; but now I honour him 
for his contempt of weavers and spinners, and sic-like mechanical 
persons and their pursuits." 

"Ye're mad, Rob," said the Bailie — "mad as a Marchhare — though 
wherefore a hare suld be made at March mair than at Martinmas, is 
mair than I can weel say. Weavers J Deil shake ye out o' the web 
the weaver craft made. Spinners ! — ye'U spin and wind yourseU a 
bonny pirn. And this young birkie here, that ye're hoying and 
hounding on the shortest road to the gallows and the deevil, will 
his stage-plays and his poetries help him here, d'ye think, ony 
mair than your deep oaths and drawn dirks, ye reprobate that ye 
are ? — ^Will Tityre tu fatula, as they ca' it, tell him where Rash- 
leigh Osbaldistone is ? &r Macbeth, and all his kernes and galla- 

226 ROB ROY. 

glasses, and your awn to boot, Rob, procure him five thousand 
pounds to answer the bills which fall due ten days hence, were they 
a' rouped at the Cross, basket hilts, Andra-Ferraras, leather tar- 
gets, brogues, brochan, and sporrans ? " 

" Ten days ?" I answered, and instinctively drew out Diana Ver- 
non's packet ; and the time being elapsed during which I was to 
keep the seal sacred, I hastily broke it open. A sealed letter fell 
from a blank enclosure, owing to the trepidation with which I 
opened the parcel. A slight current of wind, which found its way 
through a broken pane of the window, wafted the letter to Mr. 
Jarvie's feet, who lifted it, examined the address with unceremonious 
curiosity, and, to my astonishment, handed it to his Highland kins- 
man, saying, " Here's a wind has blown a letter to its right owner, 
though there were ten thousand chances against its coming to hand." 

The Highlander, having examined the address, broke the letter 
open without the least ceremony. I endeavoured to interrupt his 

" You must satisfy me, sir," said I, " that the letter is intended for 
you before I can permit you to peruse it." 

" Make yourself quite easy, Mr. Osbaldistone," replied the moun- 
taineer, with great composure; — "remember Justice Inglewood, 
Clerk Jobson, Mr. Morris — above all, remember your vera humble 
servant, Robert Cawmill, and the beautiful Diana Vernon. Re- 
member all this, and doubt no longer that the letter is for me." 

■ I remained astonished at my own stupidity. Through the whole 
night, the voice, and even the features of this man, though imper- 
fectly seen, haunted me with recollections to which I could assign 
no exact local or personal associations. But now the light dawned 
on me at once ; — ^this man was Campbell himself. His whole pecu- 
liarities flashed on me at once, — the deep strong roice — ^the inflex- 
ible, stern, yet considerate cast of features^-the Scottish brogue, 
with its corresponding dialect and imagery, which, although he pos- 
sessed the power at times of laying them aside," recurred at every 
moment of emotion, and gave pith to his sarcasm, or vehemence to 
his expostulation. Rather beneath the middle size than above it, 
his limbs were formed upon the very strohgest model that is con- 
sistent with agility, while, from the remarkable case and freedom of 
his movements, you could not doubt his possessing the latter quality 
in a high degree of perfection. Two points in his person interfered 
with the rules of symmetry; — his shoulders were so broad in pro- 
portion to his height, as, notwithstanding the lean and lathy appear- 
ance of his frame, gave him something the air of being too square 
in respect to his stature ; and his arms, though round, sinewy, and 
strong, were so very long as to be rather a deformity. I afterwards 



heard that this length of arm was a circumstance on which he prided 
himself ; that when he wore his native Highland garb, he could tie 
the garters of his hose without stooping ; and that it gave him great 
advantage in the use of the broadsword, at which he was very dex- 
terous. But certainly this want of symmetry destroyed the claim 
he might otherwise have set up, to be accounted a very handsome 
man ; it gave something wildj irregular, and, as it were, unearthly, 
to his appearance, and reminded me involuntarily, of the tales 
which Mabel used to tell of the old Picts who ravaged Northum- 
berland in ancient times, who, according to her tradition, were a 
sort of half-gobUn half-human beings, distinguished, like this man, 
for courage, cunning, ferocity, the length of their arms, and the 
squareness of their shoulders. 

When, however, I recollected the circumstances in which we 
formerly met, I could not doubt that the billet was most probably 
designed for him. He had made a marked figure among those 
mysterious personages over whom Diana seemed to exercise an 
influence, and from whom she experienced an influence in her turn. 
It was painful to think that the fate of a being so amiable was 
involved in that of desperadoes of this man's description ; yet it 
seemed impossible to doubt it. Of what use, however, could this 
person be to my father's affairs ? — I could think only of one. Rash- 
leigh Osbaldistone had, at the instigation of Miss Vernon, certainly 
found means to produce Mr. Campbell when his presence was 
necessary to exculpate me from Morris's accusation — Was it not 
possible that her influence, in like manner, might prevail on 
Campbell to produce Rashleigh .' Speaking on this supposition, I 
requested to know where my dangerous kinsman was, and when 
Mr. Campbell had seen him. The answer was indirect. 

" It's a kittle cast she has gien me to play ; but yet it's fair play, 
and I winna baulk her. Mir. Osbaldistone, I dwell not very far from 
hence — my kinsman can show you the way — Leave Mr. Owen to do 
the best he can in Glasgow — do you come and see me in the glens, 
and if s Hke I may pleasure you, and stead your father in his extre- 
mity. I am but a poor man ; but wit's better than wealth— and, 
cousin," (turning from me to address Mr. Jarvie) " if ye daur ven- 
ture sae muckle as to eat a dish of Scotch coUops, and a leg o' red- 
deer venison wi' me, come ye wi' this Sassenach gentleman as far 
as Drymen or Bucklivife, or the Clachan of Aberfoil, will be better 
than ony o' them, and I'U hae somebody waiting to weise ye the 
gate to the place where I may be for the time — What say ye, man ? 
There's my thumb, I'll ne'er beguile thee." 

" Na, na, Robin," said the cautious burgher, " I seldorh like to 
leave the Gorbals ; 1 have nae freedom to gang among your wild 

p 2 

228 ROB ROY. 

hills, Robin, and your kilted red-shanks — it disna become my place; 

" The devil damn your place and you baith ! " reiterated Camp- 
bell. " The only drap o' gentle bluid that's in your body was our 
great grand-uncle's that was justified at Dumbarton, and you set 
yourself up to say ye wad derogate frae your place to visit me ! 
Hark thee, man, I owe thee a day in harst — I'll pay up your 
thousan pund Scots, plack and bawbee, gin ye'll be an honest 
fallow for anes, and just daiker up the gate wi' this Sassenach." 

" Hout awa' wi' your gentility," replied the Bailie : " carry your 
gentle bluid to the Cross, and see what ye 11 buy wi 't. — But, if I 
wene to come, wad ye really and soothfastly pay me the siller?" 

" I swear to ye," said the Highlander, " upon the halidome of him 
that sleeps beneath the grey stane at Inch-Cailleach."* 

" Say nae mair, Robin — say nae mair — We'll see what may be 
dune. — But ye maunna expect me to gang ower the Hieland line — 
I'll gae beyond the line at no rate. Ye maun meet me about 
Bucklivie or the Clachan of Aberibil, and dinna forget the 

" Nae fear — nae fear,'' said Campbell ; I'll be as true as the steel 
blade that never failed its master. But I must be budging, cousin, 
for the air o' Glasgow tolbooth is no that ower salutary to a High- 
lander's constitution." 

" Troth," replied the merchant, " and if my duty were to be 
dune, ye couldna change your atmosphere, as the minister ca's it, 
this ae wee while. — Ochon, that I sud ever be concerned in aiding 
and abetting an escape frae justice ! it will be a shame and disgrace 
to me and mine, and my very father's memory, for ever." 

" Hout tout, man ! let that flee stick in the wa'," answered his 
kinsman ; " when the dirt's dry it will rub out — Your father, honest 
man, could look over a friend's fault as weel as anither." 

" Ye may be right, Robin," replied the Bailie, after a moment's 
reflection ; " he was a considerate man the deacon ; he ken'd we 
had a' our frailties, and he lo'ed his friends— Ye'll no hae forgotten 
him, Robin ? " This question he put in a softened tone, conveying 
as much at least of the ludicrous as the pathetic. 

" Forgotten him ! " replied his kinsman, " what suld ail me to 
forget him ? — a wapping weaver he was, and wrought my first pair 
o' hose. — But come awa, kinsman, 

" Come fill up my cup, come fill up my caim. 
Come saddle my horses, and call up my man ; 
Come open your gates, and let me gae fre^ 
I dauma stay langer in bonny Dundee." 

" Whisht, sir 1 " said the magistrate, in an authoritative tone — 

ROB ROY. sag 

'* lilting and singing sae near the latter end o' the Sabbath ! This 
house may hear ye sing anither tune yet — Aweel, we hae a' back- 
slidings to answer for — Stanchells, open the door." 

The jailor obeyed, and we all sallied forth. Stanchells looked 
with some surprise at the two strangers, wondering, doubtless, how 
they came into these premises without his knowledge ; but Mr. 
Jarvie's " Friends o' mine, Stanchells — friends o' mine," silenced all 
disposition to inquiries. We now descended into the lower vesti- 
bule, and hallooed more than once for Dougal, to which summons 
no answer was returned ; when Campbell observed, with a sar- 
donic, smile, " That if Dougal was the lad he kent him, he would 
scarce wait to get thanks for his ain share of the night's wark, but 
was in all probability on the full trot to the pass of Ballmaha" • 

" And left us — and, abune a', me mysell, locked up in the tolbooth 
a' night ! " exclaimed the Bailie, in ire and perturbation. " Ca' for 
fore-hammers, sledge-hammers, pinches, and coulters ; send for 
Deacon Yettlin, the smith, and let him ken that Bailie Jarvie's 
shut up in the tolbooth by a Hieland blackguard, whom he'll hang 
up as high as Haman" 

" When ye catch him," said Campbell, gravely ; " but stay, the 
door is surely not locked." 

Indeed, on examination, we found that the door was not only 
left open, but that Dougal in his retreat had, by carrying off the 
keys along with him, taken care that no one should exercise his 
office of porter in a hurry. 

" He has glimmerings o' common sense now, that creature 
Dougal," said Campbell ; " he ken'd an open door might hae served 
me at a pinch." 

We were by this time in the street. 

" I tell you, Robin," said the magistrate, " in my puir mind, if ye 
live the life ye do, ye suld hae ane o' your gillies doorkeeper in 
every jail in Scotland, in case o' the warst." 

" Ane o' my kinsmen a bailie in ilka burgh will just do as weel, 
cousin Nicol — So, gude-nicht or gude-morning to ye ; and forget 
not the Cla:chan of Aberfoil." 

And without waiting for an answer, he sprung to the other side 
of the street, and was lost in darkness. Immediately on his dis- 
appearance, we heard him give a low whistle of peculiar modula- 
tion, which was instantly replied to. 

" Hear to the Hieland deevils," said Mr. Jarvie ; " they think 
themselves on the skirts of Benlomond already, where they may 
gang whewing and whistling about without minding Sunday or Satur- 
day." Here he was interrupted by something which fell with a 
heavy clash on the street before us — " Gude guide us ! what's this 

23° ROB ROY. 

mair o't? — Mattie, haud up the lantern — Conscience! if it isna the 
keys ! — Weel, that's just as weel— they cost the burgh siller, and 
there might hae been some clavers about the loss o' them — O, an 
Bailie Grahame were to get word o' this nicht's job, it wad be a sair 
hair in my neck ! " 

As we were still but a few steps from the tolbooth door, we car- 
ried back these implements of office, and consigned them to the 
head jailer, who, in lieu of the usual mode of making good his post 
by turning the keys, was keeping sentry in the vestibule till the 
arrival of some assistant, whom he had summoned in order to 
replace the Celtic fugitive Dougal. 

Having discharged this piece of duty to the burgh, and my road 
lying the same way with the'honest magistrate's, I -profited by the 
light of his lantern, and he by my arm, to find, our way through 
the streets, which, whatever they may now be, were then dark, un- 
even, and ill-paved. Age is easily propitiated by attentions from 
the young. The Bailie expressed himself interested in me, and 
added, " That since I was nane o' that play-acting and play-gang- 
ing generation, whom his saul hated, he wad be glad if I wad eat 
a reisted haddock, or a fresh herring, at breakfast wi' him the 
mom, and meet my friend, Mr. Owen, whom, by that time, he 
would place at. liberty." 

" My dear sir," said I, when I had accepted of the invitation 
with thanks, " how could you possibly connect me with the 
stage ? " 

" I watna," replied Mr. Jarvie ; " it was a bletherin' phrasin' 
chield they ca' Fairservice, that cam at e'en to get an order to send 
the crier through the toun for ye at skreigh o' day the mom. He 
tell't me whae ye were, and how ye were sent frae your father's 
house because ye wadria-be a dealer, and that ye michtna disgrace 
your family wi' ganging on the stage. Ane Hammorgaw, our pre- 
centor, brought him here, and said he was an auld acquaintance ; 
but I sent them baith awa' wi' a flae in their lug for bringing me sic 
an errand on sic a night. But I see he's a fule-creature a'thegither 
and clean mista'en about ye. I like ye, man," he continued ; " I 
like a lad that will stand by his friends in trouble — I ay did it my- 
sell, and sae did the deacon my father, rest and bless him ! But 
ye suldna keep ower muckle company wi' Hielandmen and thae 
wild cattle. Can a man touch pitch and no be defiled ? — aye mind 
that. Nae doubt, the best and wisest may err— Once, twice, and 
thrice, have I backslidden, man, and dune three things this night 
— ^my father wadna hae believed his een if he could hae looked up 
and seen me do them." 

He was by this time arrived at the door of his own dwelling. He 


paused, however, on the threshold, and went on in a solemn tone 
of deep contrition, — " Firstly, I hae thought my ain thoughts on 
the Sabbath — Secondly, I hae gien security for an Englishman — 
and, in the third and last place, well a-day! I hae let an ill- 
doer escape from the place of imprisonment — But there's balm in 
Gilead, Mr. Osbaldistohe — Mattie, I can let mysell in— see Mr. Os- 
baldistone to Luckie Flyter's, at the corner o' the wynd. — Mr. 
Osbaldistone'' — in a whisper — "ye'll offer nae incivility to Mattie 
— she's an honest man's daughter, and a near cousin o' the Laird o' 


" Will it please your worship to accept of my poor service ? I be- 
seech that I may feed upon your bread, though it be the 
brownest, and drink of your drink, though it be of the smallest ; 
for I will do your worship as much service for forty shillings as 
an other man shall for three pounds." 

Greene's Tu Quoque. 

I REMEMBERED the honest Bailie's parting charge, but did not 
conceive there was any incivility in adding a kiss to the half-crown 
with which I remunerated Mattie's attendance ; nor did her " Fie 
for shame, sir ! " express any very deadly resentment of the affront. 
Repeated knocking at Mrs. Flyter's gate awakened in due order, 
first, one or two stray dogs, who began to bark with all their might ; 
next two or three night-capped heads, which were thrust out of the 
neighbouring windows to reprehend me for disturbing thesolemnity 
of the Sunday night, by that untimely noise. While I trembled 
lest the thunders of their wrath might dissolve in showers like that 
of Xantippe, Mrs. Flyter herself awoke, and began, in a tone of ob- 
jurgation not unbecoming the philosophical spouse of Socrates, to 
scold one or two loiterers in her kitchen, for not hastening to the 
door to prevent a repetition of my noisy summons. 

These worthies were, indeed, nearly concerned in the fracas 
which their laziness occasioned, being no other than the faithful 
Mr. Fairservice, with his friend Mr. Hammorgaw, and another 
person, whom I afterwards found to be the town-crier, who were 
sitting over a cog of ale, as they called it (at my expense, as my bill 
afterwards informed me), in order to devise the terms and style of 
a proclamation to be made through the streets the next day, in 
order that " the unfortunate young gentleman " as they had the 
impudence to qualify me, might be restored to his friends without 
farther delay. It may be supposed that I did not suppress my dis- 

=32 ROB ROY. 

pleasure at this impertinent interference with my affairs ; but 
Andrew set up such ejaculations of transport at my arrival, as 
fairly drowned my expressions of resentment. His raptures, per- 
chance, were partly political ; and the tears of joy which he shed had 
certainly their source in that noble fountain of emotion, the tankard. 
However, the tumultuous glee which he felt, or pretended to feel at 
my return, saved Andrew the broken head which I had twice 
destined him ; first, on account of the colloquy he had held'withthe 
precentor on my affairs ; and secondly, for the impertinent history 
he had -thought proper to give of me to Mr. Jarvie. I however 
contented myself with slapping the door of my bed-room in his face 
as he followed me, praising Heaven for my safe return, and mixing 
his joy with admonitions to me to take care how I walked my own 
ways in future. I then went to bed, resolving my first business in 
the morning should be to discharge this troublesome, pedantic, self- 
conceited coxcomb, who seemed so much disposed to constitute 
himself rather a preceptor than a domestic. 

Accordingly in the morning I resumed my purpose, and calling 
Andrew into my apartment, requested to know his charge for 
guiding and attending me as far as Glasgow. Mr. Fairservice 
looked very blank at this demand, justly considering it as a presage 
to approaching dismission. 

" Your honour," he said, after some hesitation, " wunna think — 
wunna think " 

" Speak out, you rascal, or I'll break your head," said I, as 
Andrew, between the double risk of losing all by asking too much, 
or a part, by stating his demand lower than what I might be 
willing to pay, stood gasping in the agony of doubt and calcu- 

Out it came with a bolt, however, at my threat ; as the kind 
violence of a blow on the back sometimes delivers the windpipe 
from an intrusive morsel. " Aughteen pennies sterling per diem — 
that is, by the day — your honour wadna think unconscionable." 

" It is double what is usual, and treble what you merit, Andrew ; 
but there's a guinea for you, and get about your business." 

" The Lord forgi'e us ! Is your honour mad ? " exclaimed 

" No ; but I think you mean to make me so — I give you a third 
above your demand, and you stand staring and expostulating there 
as if I were cheating you. — Take your money, and go about your 

" Gude safe us ;" continued Andrew, "in what can I hae offended 
your honour ?— Certainly a' flesh is but as flowers of the field ; but 
if a bed of camomile hath value in medicine, of a surety the use of 

ROB ROY. 333 

Andrew Fairservice to your honour is nothing less evident — it's as 
muckle as your Ufe's worth to part wi' me." 

" Upon my honour," repUed I, " it is difficult to say whether you 
are more knave or fool. — So you intend then to remain with me 
whether I like it or no ? " 

" Troth, I was e'en thinking sae," replied Andrew, dogmatically ; 
" for if your honour disna ken when ye hae a good servant, I ken 
when I hae a gude master, and the deil be in my feet gin I leave 
ye— and there's the brief and the lang o't ;— besides I hae received 
nae regular warning to quit my place." 

" Your place, sir ! " said I ; "why, you are no hired servant of 
mine, you are merely a guide, whose knowledge of the country I 
availed myself of on the road." 

" I am no just a common servant, I admit, sir," remonstrated 
Mr. Fairservice ; " but your honour kens I quitted a gude place at 
an hour's notice, to comply wi' your honour's solicitations. A man 
might make honestly, and wi' a clear conscience, twenty sterling 
pounds per annum, weel counted siller, o' the garden at Osbal- 
distone-Hall, and I wasna likely to gi'e up a' that for a guinea, I 
trow — I reckoned on staying wi' your honour to the term's end at 
the least o't j and I account upon my wage, board-wage, fee, and 
bountith, ay, to that length o't at the least." 

"Come, come, sir," replied I, "these impudent pretensions won't 
serve you turn ; and if I hear any more of them, I shall convince 
you that Squire Thorncliff is not the only one of my name that can 
use his fingers." 

While I spoke thus, the whole matter struck me as so ridiculous, 
that, though really angry, I had some difficulty to forbear laughing 
at the gravity with which Andrew supported a plea so utterly ex- 
travagant. The rascal, aware of the impression he had made on 
my muscles, was encouraged to perseverance. He judged it safer, 
however, to take his pretensions a peg lower, in case of overstrain- 
ing at the same time both his plea and my patience. 

" Admitting that my honour could part with a faithful servant, 
that had served me and mine by day and night for twenty years, 
in a strange place, and at a moment's warning, he was weel as- 
sured," he said, " it wasna in my heart, nor in no true gentleman's, 
to pit a. puir lad like himsell, that had come forty or fifty, or say a 
hundred miles out o' his road purely to bear my honour company, 
and that had nae hauding but his penny-fee, to sic a hardship as 
this comes to." 

I think it was you, Will, who once told me, that, to be an obsti- 
nate man, I am in certain things the most guUable and malleable 
of mortals. The fact is, that it is only contradiction which makes 

234 ROB ROY. 

me peremptory, and when I do not feel myself called on to give 
battle to any proposition, I am always willing to grant it, rather 
than give myself much trouble. I knew this fellow to be a greedy, 
tiresome, meddling coxcomb ; still, however, I must have some one 
about me in the quality of guide and domestic, and I was so much 
used to Andrew's humour, that on some occasions it was rather 
amusing. In the state of indecision to which these reflections led 
me, I asked Fairservice if he knew the roads, towns, &c., in the 
north of Scotland, to which my father's concerns with the proprietors 
of Highland forests were likely to lead me. I believe if I had asked 
him the road to the terrestrial paradise, he would have at that mo- 
ment undertaken to guide me to it ; so that I had reason afterwards 
to think myself fortunate in finding that his actual knowledge did 
not fall very much short of that which he asserted himself to pos- 
sess. I fixed the amount of his wages, and reserved to myself the 
privilege of dismissing him when I chose, on paying him a week in 
advance. I gave him finally a severe lecture on his conduct of the 
preceding day, and then dismissed him, rejoicing at heart, though 
somewhat crest-fallen in countenance, to rehearse to his friend the 
precentor, who was taking his morning draught in the kitchen, 
the mode in which he had "cuitled up the daft young English 

Agreeable to appointment, I went next to Bailie Nicol Jarvie's, 
where a comfortable morning's repast was arranged in the parlour, 
which served as an apartment of aU hours, and almost all work, to 
that honest gentleman. The bustling and benevolent magistrate 
had been as good as his word. I found my friend Owen at liberty, 
and, conscious of the refreshments and purification of brush and 
basin, was of course a very different person from Owen a prisoner, 
squalid, heart-broken, and hopeless. Yet the sense of pecuniary 
difficulties arisiiig behind, before, and around him, had depressed 
his spirit, and the almost paternal embrace which the good man 
gave me, was embittered by a sigh of the deepest anxiety. And 
when he sate down, the heaviness in his eye and manner, so differ- 
ent from the quiet composed satisfaction which they usually exhi- 
bited, indicated that he was employing his arithmetic in mentally 
numbering up the days, the hours, the minutes, which yet remained 
as an interval between the dishonour of bills and the downfall of 
the great commercial establishment of Osbaldistone and Tresham. 
It was left to me, therefore, to do honour to our landlord's hospit- 
able cheer — to his tea, right from China, which he got in a present 
from some eminent ship's-husband at Wapping — to his coffee, from 
a snug plantation of his own, as he informed us with a wink, called 
Salt-market Grove, in the island of Jamaica — to his English toast 

ROB ROY. 23s 

and ale, his Scotch dried salmon, his Lochfine herrings, and even 
to the double damask tablecloth, " wrought by no hand, as you 
may guess," save that of his deceased father the worthy Deacon 
Jar vie. 

Having conciliated our good-humoured host by those little atten- 
tions which are great to most men, I endeavoured in my turn to 
gain from him some information which might be useful for my 
guidance, as well as for the satisfaction of my curiosity. We had 
not hitherto made the least allusion to the transactions of the pre- 
ceding night, a circumstance which made my question sound some- 
what abrupt, when, without any previous introduction of the subject, 
I took advantage of a pause when the history of the tablecloth 
ended, and that of the napkins was about to commence, to inquire, 
" Pray, by the by, Mr. Jarvie, who may this Mr. Robert Campbell 
be whom we met with last night ? " 

The interrogatory seemed to strike the honest magistrate, to use 
the vulgar phrase, " all of a heap," and instead of answering, he re- 
turned the question — " Whae's Mr. Robert Campbell ? — ahem ! 
ahay ! Whae's Mr. Robert Campbell, quo he ? " 

" Yes," said I, " I mean who, and what is he? " 

" Why, he's — ahay ! — he's — ahem ! — Where did ye meet with 
Mr. Robert Campbell, as ye ca' him ? " 

" I met him by chance," I replied, " some months ago, in the 
north of England." 

" Ou, then, Mr. Osbaldistone," said the Bailie, doggedly, " ye'll 
ken as muckle about him as I do." 

" I should suppose not, Mr. Jarvie," I replied ; " you are his re- 
lation, it seems, and his friend." 

" There is some cousin-red between us, doubtless," said the 
Bailie, reluctantly ; " but we hae seen little o' ilk other since Rob 
gae up the cattle line o' dealing, poor fallow ! he was hardly guided 
by them might hae used him better — and they haena made their 
plack a bawbee o't neither. There's mony ane this day wad 
rather they had never chased puir Robin frae the Cross o' 
Glasgow — there's mony ane wad rather see him again at the 
tail o' three hundred kyloes, than at the head o' thirty waur 

" All this explains nothing to me, Mr. Jarvie, of Mr. Campbell's 
rank, habits of life, and means of subsistence," I replied. 

"Rank?" said Mr. Jarvie; "he's a Hieland gentleman, nae 
doubt — better rank need nane to be : — and for habit, I judge he 
wears the Hieland habit amang the hills, though he has breeks on 
when he comes to Glasgow ; — and as for his subsistence, what needs 
we care about his subsistence, sae lang as he asks naething frae us. 

236 ROB ROY. 

ye ken. But I hae nae time for clavering about him e'en now, be- 
cause we maun look into you father's concerns wi' a' speed." 
, So saying, he put on his spectacles, and sate down to examine 
Mr. Owen's states, which the other thought it most prudent to 
communicate to him without reserve. I knew enough of business 
to be aware that nothing could be more acute and sagacious than 
the views which Mr. Jarvie entertained of the matters submitted 
to his examination ; and, to do him justice, it was marked by much 
fairness and even liberality. He scratched his ear indeed repeatedly, 
on observing the balance which stood at the debit of Osbaldistone 
and Tresham in account with himself personally^ 

" It may be a dead loss," he observed ; "and, conscience ! what- 
e'er ane o' your Lombard Street goldsmiths may say to it, it's a snell 
ane in the Saut-Market o' Glasgow. It will be a heavy deficit — a 
staff out o' my bicker, I trow. But what then ? — I trust the house 
wunna coup the crans for a' that's come and gane yet ; and if it does, 
I'll never bear sae base a mind as thae corbies in the Gallowgate — 
an I am to lose by ye, I'se ne'er deny I hae won by ye mony a fair 
pund sterling — Sae, an it come to the warst, I'se e'en lay the head 
o' the sow to the tail o' the grice." * 

I did not altogether understand the proverbial arrangement with 
which Mr. Jarvie consoled himself, but I could easily see that he 
took a kind and friendly interest in the arrangement of my father's 
affairs, suggested several expedients, approved several plans pro- 
posed by Owen, and by his countenance and counsel, greatly abated 
the gloom upon the brow of that afflicted delegate of my father's 

As I was an idle spectator on this occasion, and, perhaps, as I 
showed some inclination more than once to return to the prohibited, 
and, apparently, the puzzling subject of Mr. Campbell, Mr. Jarvie 
dismissed me with little formality, with an advice to " gang up the 
gate to the college, where I wad find some chields could speak 
Greek and Latin weel, — at least they got plenty o' siller for doing 
deil haet else, if they didna do that ; and where I might read a 
spell o' the worthy Mr. Zachary Boyd's translation o' the Scrip- 
tures — ^better poetry need nane to be, as he had been tell'd by them 
that ken'd, or suld hae ken'd, about sic things." But he seasoned 
this dismission with a kind and hospitable invitation, " to come back 
and take part o' his family-chack, at ane preceesely — there wad be 
a leg o' mutton, and it might be, a tup's head, for they were in 
season ; " but, above all, I was to return at " ane o'clock preceesely 
— it was the hour he and the deacon his father aye dined at — they 
p4t it aff far naething nor for naebody." 

ROB ROY. «37 


So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear 
Full in the gap, and hopes the hunted bear ; 
And hears him in the rustling wood, and sees 
His course at distance by the bending trees, 
And thinks — Here comes my mortal enemy, 
And either he must fall in fight, or I. 

Palamon and Arcite. 

I TOOK the route towards the college, as recommended by Mr. 
Jarvie, less with the intention of seeking for any object of interest 
or amusement, than to arrange my own ideas, and meditate on my 
future conduct. 1 wandered from one quadrangle of old-fashioned 
buildings to another, and from thence to the College-yards, or 
walking ground, where, pleased with the solitude of the place, most 
of the students being engaged in their classes, I took several turns, 
pondering on the waywardness of my own destiny. 

I could not doubt, from the circumstances attending my first 
meeting with this person Campbell, that he was engaged in some, 
strangely desperate courses ; and the reluctance with which Mr 
Jarvie alluded to his person or pursuits, as well as all the scene of 
the preceding night, tended to confirm these suspicions. Yet to 
this man Diana Vernon had not, it would seem, hesitated to 
address herself in my behalf ; and the conduct of the magistrate 
himself towards him showed an odd mixture of kindness, and 
even respect, with pity and censure. Something there must be 
uncommon in Campbell's situation and character ; and what was 
still more extraordinary, it seemed that his fate was doomed to 
have influence over, and connection with my own. I resolved to 
bring Mr. Jarvie to close quarters on the first proper opportunity, 
and learn as much as was possible on the subject of this myste- 
rious person, in order that I might judge whether it was possible 
for me, without prejudice to my reputation, to hold that degree of 
farther correspondence with him, to which he seemed to invite. 

While I was musing on these subjects, my attention was attracted 
by three persons who appeared at the upper end of the walk through 
which I was sauntering, seemingly engaged in very earnest conver- 
sation. That intuitive impression which announces to us the 
approach of whomsoever we love or hate with intense vehemence, 
long before a more indifferent eye can recognise their persons, 
flashed upon my mind the sure conviction that the midmost of 
these three men was Rashleigh Osbaldistone. To address him 
was my first impulse ; my second was, to watch him until he was 

238 ROB ROY. 

alone, or at least reconnoitre his companions before confronting him. 
The party was still at such distance, and engaged in such deep 
discourse, that I had time to step unobserved to the other side 
of a small hedge, which imperfectly screened the alley in which I 
was walking. 

It was at this period the fashion of the young and gay to wear, 
in their morning walks, a scarlet cloak, often laced and embroidered, 
above their other dress, and it was the trick of the timfe for gallants 
occasionally to dispose it so as to muffle a part of the face. The 
imitating this fashion, with the degree of shelter which I re- 
ceived from the hedge, enabled me to meet my cousin, unobserved 
by him or the others, except perhaps as a passing stranger. I was 
not a little startled at recognising in his companions that very 
Morris on whose account I had been summoned before Justice 
Inglewood, and Mr. MacVittie the merchant, from whose starched 
and severe aspect I had recoiled on the preceding day. 

A more ominous conjunction to my own affairs, and those of my 
father, could scarce have been formed. I remembered Morris's 
false accusation against me, which he might be as easily induced 
to renew as he had been intimidated to withdraw ; I recollected the 
inauspicious influence of MacVittie over my father's affairs, testified 
by the imprisonment of Owen ; and I now saw both these men 
combined with one, whose talents for mischief I deemed little 
inferior to those of the great author of all ill, and my abhorrence 
of whom almost amounted to dread. 

When they had passed me for some paces, I turned and followed 
them unobserved. At the end of the walk they separated, Morris 
and MacVittie leaving the gardens, and Rashleigh returning alone 
through the walks. I was now determined to confront him, and 
demand reparation for the injuries he had done my father, though 
in what form redress ' was likely to be rendered remained to be 
known. This, however, I trusted to chance ; and, ilinging back 
the cloak in which I was muffled, I passed through a gap of the 
low hedge, and presented myself before Rashleigh, as, in a deep 
reverie, he paced down the avenue. 

Rashleigh was no man to be surprised or thrown off his guard 
by sudden occurrences. Yet he did not find me thus close to him, 
wearing undoubtedly in my face the marks of that indignation 
which was glowing in my bosom, without visibly starting at an 
apparition so sudden and so menacing. 

" You are well met, sir," was my commencement ; " I was about 
to take a long and doubtful journey in quest of you." 

" You know little of him you sought, then," replied Rashleigh, 
with his usual undaunted composure. " I am easily found by my 

ROB ROY. 839 

friends — still more easily by my foes ; — your manner compels me 
to ask in which class I must rank Mr. Francis Osbaldistone ? " 

" In that of your foes, sir," I answered ; " in that of your mortal 
foes, unless you instantly do justice to your benefactor, my father, 
by accounting for his property." 

" And to whom, Mr. Osbaldistone," answered Rashleigh, " am I, 
a member of your father's commercial establishment, to be com- 
pelled to give any account of my proceedings in those concerns, 
which are in every respect identified with my own ? — Surely not to 
a young gentlemen whose exquisite taste for literature would render 
such discussions disgusting and unintelligible." 

" Your sneer, sir, is no answer ; I will not part with you until I 
have full satisfaction concerning the fraud you meditate — you shall 
go with me before a magistrate." 

" Be it so," said Rashleigh, and made a step or two as if to 
accompany me ; then pausing, proceeded — " Were I inclined to do 
as you would have me, you should soon feel which of us had most 
reason to dread the presence of a magistrate. But I have no wish 
to accelerate your fate. Go, young man ! amuse yourself in your 
world of poetical imaginations, and leave the business of life to 
those who understand and can conduct it." 

His intention, I believe, was to provoke me, and he succeeded. 
" Mr. Osbaldistone," I said, " this tone of calm insolence shall not 
avaU you. You ought to be aware that the name we both bear 
never submitted to insult, and shall not in my person be exposed 
to it." 

" You remind me," said Rashleigh, with one of his blackest 
looks, " that it was dishonoured in my person !— and you remind 
me also by whom ! Do you think I have forgotten the evening at 
Osbaldistone-HaU, when you cheaply and with impunity played 
the bully at my expense ? For that insult — never to be washed out 
but by blood ! — for the various times you have crossed my path, 
and always to my prejudice — for the persevering folly with which 
you seek to traverse schemes, the importance of which you neither 
known or are capable of estimating, — for'all these, sir, you owe me a 
long account, for which there shall come an early day of reckoning." 

" Let it come when it will," I replied, " I shall be willing and 
ready to meet it. Yet you seem to have forgotten the heaviest 
article — that I had the pleasure to aid Miss Vernon's good sense 
and virtuous feeling in extricating her from your infamous toils." 

I think his dark eyes flashed actual fire at this home-taunt, and 
yet his voice retained the same calm expressive tone with which he 
had hitherto conducted the conversation. 

" I had other views with respect to you, young man,'' was his 

240 ROB ROY. 

answer ; " less hazardous for you, and more suitable to my present 
character and former education. But I see you will draw on your- 
self the personal chastisement your boyish insolence so well merits. 
Follow me to a more remote spot, where we are less likely to be 

I followed him accordingly, keeping a strict eye on his motions, 
for I believed him capable of the very worst actions. We reached 
an open spot in a sort of wilderness, laid out in the Dutch taste, 
with clipped edges, and one or two statues. I was on my guard, 
and it was well with me that I was so ; for Rashleigh's sword was 
out and at my breast ere I could throw down my cloak, or get my 
weapon unsheathed, so that I only saved my life by springing a 
pace or two backwards. He had some advantage in the difference 
of our weapons ; for his sword, as I recollect, was longer than mine, 
and had one of those bayonet or three-cornered blades which are 
now generally worn ; whereas mine was what we then called a 
Saxon blade — narrow, flat, and two-edged, and scarcely so manage- 
able as that of my enemy. In other respects we were pretty 
equally matched ; for what advantage I might possess in superior 
address and agility, was fully counter-balanced by Rashleigh's 
great strength and coolness. He fought, indeed, more like a fiend 
than a man — with concentrated spite and desire of blood, only 
allayed by that cool consideration which made his worst actions 
appear yet worse from the air of deliberate premeditation which 
seemed to accompany them. His obvious malignity of purpose 
never for a moment threw him off his guard, and he exhausted 
every feint and stratagem proper to the science of defence ; while, 
at the same time, he meditated the most desperate catastrophe to 
our rencounter. 

On my part, the combat was at first sustained with more modera- 
tion. My passions, though hasty, were hot malevolent ; and the 
walk of two or three minutes' space gave me time to reflect that 
Rashleigh was my father's nephew, the son of an uncle, who after 
his fashion, had been kind to me, and that his falling by my hand 
could not but occasion much family distress. My first resolution, 
therefore, was to attempt to disarm my antagonist ; a mancEuvre in 
which, confiding in my superiority of skill and practice, I antici- 
pated little difficulty. I found, however, I had met my match ; 
and one or two foils which I received, and from the consequences 
of which I narrowly escaped, obliged me to observe more caution 
in my mode of fighting. By degrees I became exasperated at the 
rancour with which Rashleigh sought my Ufe, and returned his 
passes with an inveteracy resembling in some degree his own ; so 
that the combat had all the appearance of being destined to have 

ROB ROY. 241 

a tragic issue. That issue had nearly taken place at my expense. 
My foot slipped in a full lounge which I made at my adversary, and 
I could not so far recover myself as completely to parry the thrust 
with which my pass was repaid. Yet it took but partial effect, 
running through my waistcoat, grazing my ribs, and passing 
through my coat behind. The hilt of Rashleigh's sword, so great 
was the vigour of his thrust, struck against my breast with such 
force as to give me great pain, and confirm me in the momentary 
belief that I was mortally wounded. Eager for revenge, I grappled 
with my enemy, seizing with my left hand the hilt of his sword, 
and shortening my own with the purpose of running him through 
the body. Our death-grapple was interrupted by a man who 
forcibly threw himself between us, and pushing us separate from 
each other, exclaimed, in a loud and commanding voice, " What ! 
the sons of those fathers who sucked the same breast shedding 
each other's bluid as it were strangers' ! — By the hand of my father, 
I will cleave to the brisket the first man that mints another stroke ! " 

I looked up in astonishment. The speaker was no other than 
Campbell. He had a basket-hilted broadsword drawn in his hand, 
which he made to whistle around his head as he spoke, as if for the 
purpose of enforcing his mediation. Rashleigh and I stared in 
silence at this unexpected intruder, who proceeded to exhort us 
alternately : " Do you, Maister Francis, opine that ye will re- 
establish your father's credit, by cutting your kinsman's thrapple, 
or getting your ain sneckit instead thereof in the College-yards of 
Glasgow ? — Or do you, Mr. Rashleigh, think men will trust their 
lives and fortunes wi' ane, that, when in point of trust and in point 
of confidence wi' a great political interest, gangs about brawling 
like a drunken gillie ? — Nay, never look gash or grim at me, man — if 
ye're angry, ye ken how to turn the buckle o' your belt behind you." 

" You presume on my present situation," replied Rashleigh, " or 
you would have hardly dared to interfere where my honour is con- 

" Hout ! tout ! tout ! — Presume ? — And what for should it be 
presuming ? — ^Ye may be the richer man, Mr. Osbaldistone, as is 
maist likely ; and ye may be the mair learned man, whilk I dispute 
not : but I reckon ye are neither a prettier man nor a better gentle- 
man than mysell — and it will be news to me when I hear ye are as 
gude. And dare too ? — Muckle daring there's about it — I trow, 
here I stand, that hae slashed as het a haggis as ony o' the twa o' 
ye, and thought nae muckle o' my morning's wark when it was 
dune. If my foot were on the heather as it's on the causeway, or 
this pickle gravel, that's little better, I hae been waur mistrysted 
than if I were set to gie ye baith your ser'ing o't." 



RasMeigh had by this time recovered his temper completely. 

My kinsman," he said, " will acknowledge he forced this quarrel 
on me. It was none of my seeking. I am glad we are interrupted 
before I chastised his iorwardness more severely." 

" Are ye hurt, lad ? " inquired Campbell of me, with some appear- 
ance of interest. 

"Avery slight scratch," I answered, "which my kind cousin 
would not long have boasted of had not you come between us." 

" In troth, and that's true, Maister Rashleigh," said Campbell : 
" for the cauld iron and your best bluid were like to hae become 
acquaint when I mastered Mr. Frank's right hand. But never look 
like a sow playing upon a trump for the luve o' that, man — come 
and walk wi' me. I hae news to tell ye, and ye'U cool and come to 
yoursell, like MacGibbon's crowdy, when he set it out at the window- 

" Pardon me, sir," said I. " Your intentions have seemed friendly 
to me on more occasions than one ; but I must not, and will not, 
quit sight of this person, until he yields up to me those means of 
doing justice to my father's engagements, of which he has treacher- 
ously possessed himself." 

" Ye're daft, man," replied Campbell ; " it will serve ye naething 
to follow us e'enow ; ye hae just enow o' ae man, wad ye bring twa 
on your head, and might bide quiet ? " 

" Twenty," I replied, " if it be necessary." 

I laid my hand on Rashleigh's collar, who made no resistance, 
but said, with a sort of scornful smile, " You hear him, MacGregor! 
he rushes on his fate — will it be my fault if he falls into it ? — The 
warrants are by this time ready, and all is prepared." 

The Scotchman was obviously embarrassed. He looked around, 
and before, and behind him, and then said : " The ne'er a bit will 
I yield my consent to his being ill-guided, for standing up for the 
father that got him — and I gie God's malison and mine to a' sort 
o' magistrates, justices, bailies, sheriffs, sheriff-officers, constables, 
and sic-like black cattle, that hae been the plagues.o' puir auld 
Scotland this hunder year ! — it was a merry warld when every man 
held his ain gear wi' his ain grip, and when the country side wasna 
fashed wi' warrants and poindings and apprizings, and a' that j 
cheatry craft. And ance mair I say it, my conscience winna see 
this puir thoughtless lad ill-guided, and especially wi' that sort o' 
trade. I wad rather ye fell till't again, and fought it out like douce 
honest men." 

" Your conscience, MacGregor ! " said Rashleigh; "you forget 
how long you and I have known each other." 
"Yes, my conscience," reiterated Campbell, or MacGregor, or 

ROB ROY. 243 

whatever was his name ; " I hae such a thing about me, Maister 
Osbaldistone ; and therein it may weel chance that I hae the better 
o' you. As to our knowledge of each other, — if ye ken what I am, 
ye ken what usage it was made me what I am ; and, whatever you 
may think, I would not change states with the proudest of the 
oppressors that hae driven me to tak the heather-bush for a beild. 
What j/ou are, Maister Rashleigh, and what excuse ye hae for being 
■what you are, is between your ain heart and the lang day. — And 
now, Maister Francis, let go his collar ; for he says truly, that ye 
are in mair danger from a magistrate than he is, and were your 
cause as straight as an arrow, he wad find a way to put you wrang 
-^So let go his craig, as I was saying." 

He seconded his words with an effort so sudden and unexpected, 
that he freed Rashleigh from my hold, and securing me, notwith- 
standing my struggles, in hi? own Herculean gripe, he called out, 
" Take the bent, Mr. Rashleigh. Make ae pair o' legs worth twa 
pair o' hands ; ye hae dune that before now." 

" You may thank this gentleman, kinsman," said Rashleigh, " if 
I leave any part of my debt to you unpaid ; and if I quit you now, 
it is only in the hope we shall soon meet again without the possir 
bility of interruption." 

He took up his sword, wiped it, sheathed it, and was lost among 
the bushes. 

The Scotchman, partly by force, partly by remonstrance, pre- 
vented my following him ; indeed I began to be of opinion my 
doing so would be to little purpose. , 

" As I live by bread," said Campbell, when, after one or two 
struggles in which he used much forbearance towards me, he per- 
ceived me inclined to stand quiet, " I never saw sae daft a callant ! 
I wad hae gien the best man in the country the breadth o' his back 
gin he had gien me sic a kemping as ye hae dune. What wad ye 
do ? — Wad ye follow the wolf to his den ? — I tell ye, man, he has 
the auld trap set for ye — He has got the collector-creature Morris 
to bring up a' the auld story again, and ye maun look for nae help 
frae me here, as ye got at Justice Inglewood's. — It isna good for my 
health to come in the gate o' the whigamore bailie bodies. Now 
gang your ways hame, like a gude bairn — jouk and let the jaw gae 
by — Keep out o' sight o' Rashleigh, and Morris, and that MacVittie 
animal — Mind the Clachan of Aberfoil, as I said before, and, by 
the word of a gentleman, I wunna see ye wranged. But keep 
a calm sough till we meet again — I maun gae and get Rashleigh 
out o' the town afore waur comes o't, for the neb o' him 's never out 
o' mischief — Mind the Clachan of Aberfoil." 

He turned upon his heel, and left me to meditate on the singular 

Q 2 

244 ROB ROY. 

events which had befallen me. My first care was to adjust my 
dress and re-assume my cloak, disposing it so as to conceal the 
blood which flowed down my right side. I had scarcely accom- 
plished this, when, the classes of the College being dismissed, the 
gardens began to be fiUed with parties of the students, I therefore 
left them as soon as possible ; and in my way towards Mr. Jarvie's, 
whose dinner hour was now approaching, I stopped at a small un- 
pretending shop, the sign of which intimated the indweller to be 
Christopher Nielson, surgeon and apothecary. I requested of a 
little boy who was pounding some stuff in a mortar, that he would 
procure me an audience of this learned pharmacopolist. He opened 
the door of the back-shop„where I found a lively elderly man, who 
shook his head incredulously at some idle account I gave him of 
having been wounded accidentally by the button breaking off my 
antagonist's foil while I was engaged in a fencing match. When 
he had applied some lint and somewhat else he thought proper to 
the trifling wound I had received, he observed, " There never was 
button on the foil that made this hurt. Ah ! young blood ! — young 
blood ! — But we surgeons are a secret generation — If it werena for 
hot blood and ill blood, what would become of the twa learned 

With which moral reflection he dismissed me ; and I experienced 
very little pain or inconvenience afterwards from the scratch I had 


An iron race the mountain-cliffs maintain, 
Foes to the gentler genius of the plain. 

Who, while their rocky ramparts round they see, 
The rough abode of want and liberty, 
As lawless force from confidence will grow, 
Insult the plenty of the vales below. 

" What made ye sae late ? " said Mr. Jarvie, as I entered the 
dining-parlour of that honest gentleman ; " it is chappit ane the 
best feck o' five minutes by-gane. Mattie has been twice at the 
door wi' the dinner, and weel for you it was a tup's head, for that 
canna suffer by delay. A sheep's head ower muckle boiled is rank 
poison, as my worthy father used to say — ^he likit the lug o' ane 
weel, honest man." 
1 made a suitable apology for my breach of punctuality, and was 

ROB ROY. 24s 

soon seated at table, where Mr. Jarvie presided with, great glee and 
hospitality, compelling, however, Owen and myself to do rather 
more justice to the Scottish dainties with which his board was 
charged, than was quite agreeable to our southern palates. I escaped 
pretty well, from having those habits of society which enable one to 
elude, this species of well-meant persecution. But it was ridiculous 
enough to see Owen, whose ideas of politeness were more rigorous 
and formal, and who was willing, in all acts of lawful compliance, 
to evince his respect for the friend of the firm, eating, with rueful 
complaisance, mouthful after mouthful of singed wool, and pro- 
nouncing it excellent, in a tone in which disgust almost overpowered 

When the cloth was removed, Mr. Jarvie compounded with his 
own hands, a very small bowl of brandy-punch, the first which 
I had ever the fortune to see. 

" The limes," he assured us, "were from his own little farm yonder- 
awa" (indicating the West Indies with a knowing shrug of his 
shoulders), " and he had learned the art of composing the liquor 
from auld Captain Coffinkey, who acquired it," he added in a 
whisper, " as maist folk thought, among the Buccaniers. But it's 
excellent liquor," said he, helping us round ; " and good ware has 
aften come frae a wicked market. And as for Captain Coffinkey, 
he was a decent man when I kent him, only he used to swear 
awfully — But he's dead, and gaen to his account, and I trust he's 
accepted — I trust he's accepted." 

We found the liquor exceedingly palatable, and it led to a long 
conversation between Owen and our host on the opening which the 
Union had afforded to trade between Glasgow and the British 
colonies in America and the West Indies, and on the facilities 
which Glasgow possessed of making up sortable cargoes for that 
market. Mr. Jarvie answered some objection which Owen made 
on the difficulty of sorting a cargo for America, without buying 
from England, with vehemence and volubility. 

" Na, na, sir, we stand on our ain bottom — we pickle in our ain 
pock-neuk-^We hae our Stirling serges, Musselburgh stuffs, Aber- 
deen hose, Edinburgh shalloons, and the like, for our woollen or 
worsted goods — and we hae linens of a' kinds better and cheaper 
than you hae in Lunnon itsell — and we can buy your north o' 
England wares, as Manchester wares, Sheffield wares, and New- 
castle earthen-ware, as cheap as you can at Liverpool — And we are 
making a fair spell at cottons and muslins — Na, na ! let every 
herring hing by its ain head, and every sheep by its ain shank, and 
ye'U find, sir, us Glasgow folk no sae far ahint but what we may 
follow. — This is but poor entertainment for you, Mr. Osbaldistone," 

246 ROB ROY. 

(observing that I had been for some time silent ;) " but ye ken 
cadgers maun aye be speaking about cart-saddles." 

I apologized, alleging the painful circumstances of my own situa- 
tion, and the singular adventures of the morning, as the causes of 
my abstraction and absence of mind. In this manner I gained 
what I sought— an opportunity of telling my story distinctly and 
without interruption. I only omitted mentioning the wound I had 
received, which I did not think worthy of notice. Mr. Jarvie 
listened with great attention and apparent interest, twinkling his 
little grey eyes, taking snuff, and only interrupting me by brief in- 
terjections. When I came to the account of the rencounter, at 
which Owen folded his hands and cast up his eyes to Heaven, the 
very image of woful surprise, Mr. Jarvie broke in upon the narra- 
tion with " Wrang now — clean wrang — to draw a sword on your 
kinsman is inhibited by the laws o' God and man ; and to draw 
a sword on the streets of a royal burgh is punishable by fine and 
imprisonment — and the College-yards are nae better privileged — 
they should be a place of peace and quietness, I trow. The College 
didna get gude ;^6oo a year out o' bishops' rents (sorrow fa' the 
brood o' bishops and their rents too !) nor yet a lease o' the Arch- 
bishoprick o' Glasgow the sell o't, that they suld let folk tuilzie in 
their yards, or the wild callants bicker there wi' snaw-ba's as they 
whiles do, that when Mattie and I gae through, we are fain to make 
a baik and a bdw, or run the risk o' our hams being knocked out — 
it suld be looked to.* But come awa' wi' your tale — what fell 
neist ? " 

On my mentioning the appearance of Mr. Campbell, Jarvie arose 
in great surprise, and paced the room, exclaiming, " Robin again ! 
— Robert's mad — clean wud, and waur— Rob will be hanged and 
disgrace a' his kindred, and that will be seen and heard tell o'. My 
father the deacon wrought him his first hose — Od, I am thinking 
Deacon Threeplie, the rape-spinner, will be twisting his last cravat. 
Ay, ay, puir Robin is in a fair way o' being hanged — But come 
awa' — come awa' — let's hear the lave o't." 

I told the whole story as pointedly as I could ; but Mr. Jarvie 
still found something lacking to make it clear, until I went back, 
though with considerable reluctance, on the whole story of Morris, 
and of my meeting with Campbell at the house of Justice Ingle- 
wood. Mr. Jarvie inclined a serious ear to all this, and remained 
silent for some time after I had finished my narrative. 

" Upon all these matters I am now to ask your advice, Mr. Jarvie, 
which, I have no doubt, will point out the best way to act for my 
father's advantage and my own honour." 

"Ye're right, young man— ye're right," said the Bailie. "Aye 

ROB ROY. 247 

take the counsel of those who are aulder and wiser than yoursell, 
and binna like the godless Rehoboam, who took the advice o' a 
wheen beardless callants, neglecting the auld counsellors who had 
sate at the feet 0' his father Solomon, and, as it was weel put by 
Mr. Meiklejohn, in his lecture on the chapter, were doubtless par- 
takers of his sapience. But I maun hear naething about honour — 
we ken naething here but about credit. Honour is a homicide and 
a bloodspiller, that gangs about making frays in the street ; but 
Credit is a decent honest man, that sits at hame and makes the pat 

"Assuredly, Mr. Jarvie," said our friend Owen, ''credit is the 
sum total ; and if we can but save that, at whatever discount" 

" Ye are right, Mr. Owen — ye are right ; ye speak weel and 
wisely ; and I trust bowls will row right, though they are awee ajee 
e'enow. But touching Robin, I am of opinion he will befriend this 
young man ,if it is in his power. He has a gude heart, puir Robin ; 
and though I lost a matter o' twa hunder punds wi' his former 
engagements, and haena muckle expectation ever to see back my 
thousand punds Scots that he promises me e'enow, yet I will never 
say but what Robin means fair by a' men." 

" I am then to consider him," I replied, " as an honest man ! " 

" Umph ! " replied Jarvie, with a precautionary sort of cough — 
"Ay, he has a kind o' Hieland honesty — he's honest after a sort, as 
they say. My father the deacon used aye to laugh when he tauld 
me how that by-word came up. Ane Captain Costlett was cracking 
crouse about his loyalty to King Charles, and Clerk Pettigrew (ye'U 
hae heard mony a tale about him) asked him after what manner he 
served the king, when he was fighting again him at Wor'ster in 
Cromwell's army ; and Captain Costlett was a ready body, and said 
that he served him after a sort. My honest father used to laugh weel 
at that sport — and sae the by-word came up." 

" But do you think," I said, " that this man will be able to serve 
me after a sort, or should I trust rtyself to this place of rendezvous 
which he has given me ? " 

" Frankly and fairly, it's worth trying. Ye see yoursell there's 
some risk in your staying here. This bit body Morris has gotten 
a custom-house place doun at Greenock — that's a port on the Firth 
doun by here ; and tho' a' the world kens him to be but a twa-leggit 
creature, wi' a goose's head and a hen's, heart, that goes about on 
the quay plaguing folk about permits, and cockits, and dockits, and 
a' that vexatious trade, yet if he lodge an information— ou, nae 
doubt a man in magisterial duty maun attend to it, and ye might 
come to be clapped up between four wa's", whilk wad be iU-convenient 
to your father's affairs." 

248 ROB ROY. 

" True," I observed ; " yet what service am I likely to render 
him by leaving Glasgow, which, it is probable, will be the principal 
scene of Rashleigh's machinations, and committing myself to the 
doubtful faith of a man of whom I know little but that he fears jus- 
tice, and has doubtless good reasons for doing so ; and that, for 
some secret, and probably dangerous purpose, he is in close league 
and alliance with the very person who is like to be the author of 
our ruin ? " 

" Ah, but ye judge Rob hardly," said the Bailie, " ye judge him 
hardly, puir chield ; and the truth is, that ye ken naething about 
our hill country, or Hielands, as we ca' them. They are clean 
anither set frae the like o' huz ; there's nae bailie-courts amang 
them — nae magistrates that dinna bear the sword in vain, like the 
worthy deacon that's awa, and, I may say't, like mysell and other 
present magistrates in this city — But it's just the laird's command, 
and the loon maun loup ; and the never another law hae they but 
the length o' their dirks — the broadsword's pursuer, or plaintiff, as 
you Englishers ca' it, and the target is defender ; the stoutest head 
bears langest out ; — and there's a Hieland plea for ye." 

Owen groaned deeply ; and I allow that the description did not 
greatly increase my desire to trust myself in a country so lawless as 
he described these Scottish mountains. 

" Now, sir," said Jarvie, " we speak little o' thae things, because 
they are familiar to oursells ; and where's the use o' vilifying ane's 
country, and bringing a discredit on ane's kin, before southrons and 
strangers ? It's an ill bird that files its ain nest." 

" Well, sir, but as it is no impertinent curiosity of mine, but real 
necessity, that obliges me to make these inquiries, I hope you will 
not be offended at my pressing for a little farther information. I 
have to deal, on myfathei^s account, with several gentlemen of these 
wild countries, and I must trust your good sense and experience 
for the requisite lights upon the subject." 

This little morsel of flattery was not thrown out in vain. 

" Experience !" said the Bailie, " I hae had experience, nae doubt, 
and I hae made some calculations — Ay, and to speak quietly amang 
oursells, I hae made some perquisitions through Andrew Wylie, my 
auld clerk ; he's wi' MacVittie and Co. now — but he whiles drinks 
a gill on the Saturday afternoons wi' his auld master. And since 
ye say ye are willing to be guided by the Glasgow weaver-body's 
advice, I am no the man that wiU refuse it to the son of an auld 
correspondent, and my father the deacon was nane sic afore me. 
I have whiles thought o' letting my lights burn before the Duke of 
Argyle, or his brother Lord Hay (for wherefore should they be 
hidden under a bushel ?) but the like o' thae grit men wadna mind 

ROB ROY. 349 

the like o' me, a puir wabster body — they think mair o' wha says a 
thing, than o' what the thing is that's said. The mair 's the pity — 
mair 's the pity. Not that I wad speak ony ill of this MacCallum 
More — ' Curse not the rich in your bedchamber,' saith the son of 
Sifach, for a bird of the air shall carry the clatter, and pint-stoups 
hae lang lugs." 

I interrupted these prolegomena, in which Mr. Jarvie was apt to 
be somewhat diffuse, by praying him to rely upon Mr. Owen and 
myself as perfectly secret and safe confidants. 

" It's no for that," he replied, " for I fear nae man — what for suld 
I ? — I speak nae treason — Only thae Hielandmen hae lang grips, 
and I whiles gang a wee bit up the glens to see some auld kinsfolks, 
and I wadna willingly be in bad blude wi' ony o' their clans. How- 
sumever, to proceed — Ye maun understand I found my remarks on 
figures, whilk, as Mr. Owen here weel kens, is the only true demon- 
strable root of human knowledge." 

Owen readily assented to a proposition so much in his own way, 
and our orator proceeded. 

" These Hielands of ours, as we ca' them, gentlemen, are but a 
wild kind of warld by themsells, full of heights and howes, woods, 
caverns, lochs, rivers, and mountains, that it wad tire the very 
deevil's wings to flee to the tap o' them. And in this country, and 
in the isles, whilk are little better, or, to speak the truth, rather 
waur than the mainland, there are about twa hunder and thirty 
parochines, including the Orkneys, where, whether they speak Gaelic 
or no I wotna, but they are an uncivilized people. — Now, sirs, I sail 
baud ilk parochine at the moderate estimate of eight hunder 
examinable persons, deducting children under nine years of age, 
and then adding one-fifth to stand for bairns of nine years auld, 
and under, the whole population will reach to the sum of — let us 
add one-fifth to 800 to be the multiplier, and 230 being the multi- 
plicand " 

" The product," said Mr. Owen, who entered delightedly into 
these statistics of Mr. Jarvie, " will be 230,000." 

" Right, sir — perfectly right ; and the military array of this 
Hieland country, were a' the men-folk between aughteen and fifty- 
six brought out that could bear arms, couldna come weel short of 
fifty-seven thousand five hundred men. Now, sir, it's a sad and 
awfu' truth, that there is neither wark, nor the very fashion nor 
appearance of wark, for the tae half of thae puir creatures ; that is 
to say, that the agripulture, the pasturage, the fisheries, and 
every species of honest industry about the country, cannot em- 
ploy the one moiety of the population, let them work as lazily 
as they like, and they do work as if a pleugh or a spade burnt 


their fingers. Aweel, sir, this moiety of unemployed bodies 
amounting to" 

" To one hundred and fifteen thousand souls," said Owen, "being 
the half of the above product." 

"Ye hae't, Maister Owen— ye hae't— whereof there may be 
twenty-eight thousand seven hundred able-bodied gillies fit to bear 
arms, and that do bear arms, and will touch or look at nae honest 
means of livelihood even if they could get it — which, lack-a-day ! 
they cannot." 

" But is it possible," said I, " Mr. Jarvie, that this can be a just 
picture of so large a portion of the island of Britain ? " 

" Sir, I'll make it as plain as, Peter Pasley's pike-staff.— I will 
allow that ilk parochine, on an average, employs fifty pleughs, 
whilk is a great proportion in sic miserable soil as thae creatures 
hae to labour, and that there may be pasture eneugh for pleugh- 
horses, and owsen, and forty or fifty cows.; now, to take care o'the 
pleughs and cattle, we'se allow seventy-five families of six lives in 
ilk family, and we'se add fifty mair to make even numbers, and ye 
hae five hundred souls, the tae half o' the population, employed 
and maintained in a sort o' fashion, wi' some chance of sour-milk 
and crowdie ; but I wad be glad to ken what the other five hunder 
are to do ? " 

" In the name of God ! " said I, " what do they do, Mr. Jarvie ? 
It makes me shudder to think of their situation." 

" Sir," replied the Bailie, " ye wad maybe shudder mair if ye were 
living near-hand them. For, admitting that the tae half of them 
may make some little thing for themsells honestly in the Lowlands 
by shearing in harst, droving, hay-making, and the like ; ye hae 
still mony hundreds and thousands o' lang-legged Hieland gillies 
that will neither work nor want, and maun gang thigging and 
soming* about on their acquaintance, or live by doing the laird's 
bidding, be't right or be't wrang. And mair especially, mony hun- 
dreds o' them come down to the borders of the low country, where 
there's gear to grip, and live by stealing, reiving, lifting cows, and 
the like depredations. A thing deplorable in ony Christian country 
— the mair especially, that they take pride in it, and reckon driving 
a spreagh (whilk is, in plain Scotch, stealing a herd of nowte) a 
gallant, manly action, and mair befitting of pretty* men (as sic 
reivers will ca' themsells) than to win a day's wage by ony honest 
thrift. And the lairds are as bad as the loons ; for if they dihna bid 
them gae reive and harry, the deil a bit they forbid them; and they 
shelter them, or let them shelter themsells, in their woods, and 
mountains, and strongholds, whenever the thing's dune. And every 
ane o' them will maintain as mony o' his ane name, or his clan, as 

ROB ROY. 251 

we say, as he can rap and rend means for ; or, whilk's the same 
thing, as mony as can in ony fashion, fair or foul, mainteen them- 
sells— and there they are wi' gun and pistol, dirk and dourlach, 
ready to disturb the peace o' the country whenever the laird likes ; 
and that's the grievance of the Hielands, whilk are, and hae been 
for this thousand years by-past, a bike o' the maist lawless un- 
christian limmers that ever disturbed a douce, quiet, God-fearing 
neighbourhood, like this o' ours in the west here." 

" And this kinsman of yours, and friend of mine, is he one of 
those great proprietors who maintain the household troops you 
speak of ? " I inquired. 

" Na, na," said Bailie Jarvie ; " he's nane o' your great grandees 
o' chiefs, as they ca' them, neither. Though he is weel born, and 
lineally descended frae auld Glenstrae — I kin his lineage — indeed 
he- is a near kinsman, and, as I said, of gude gentle Hieland 
bluid, though you may think weel that I care little about that non- 
sense — it's a moonshine in water — waste threads and thrums, as we 
say — but; I could show ye letters frae his father, that was the third 
afF Glenstrae, to my father Deacon Jarvie (peace be wi' his me- 
mory !) beginning. Dear Deacon, and ending, your loving kinsman 
to command, — they are amaist a' about borrowed siller, sae the 
gude deacon, that's dead and gane, keepit them as documents and 
evidents — Ha was a carefu' man." 

" But if he is not," I resumed, " one of their chiefs or patriarchal 
leaders, whom I have heard my father talk of, this kinsman of yours 
has, at least, much to say in the Highlands, I presume ? " 

" Ye may say that — nae name better ken'd between the Lennox 
and Breadalbane. Robin was anes a weel-doing, pains-taking 
drover, as ye wad see amang ten thousand — It was a pleasure to 
see him in his belted plaid and brogues, wi' his target at his back, 
and claymore and dirk at his belt, following a hundred Hieland 
stots, and a dozen o' the gillies, as rough and ragged as the beasts 
they drave. And he was baith civil and just in his dealings ; and 
if he thought his chapman had made a hard bargain, he wad gie 
him a luck-penny to the mends. I hae ken'd him gie back five 
shillings out o' the pund sterling." 

" Twenty-five per cent.," said Owen — " a heavy discount." 

" He wad gie it though, sir, as I tell ye ; mair especially if he 
thought the buyer was a puir man, and couldna stand by a loss. 
But the times cam hard, and Rob was venturesome. It wasna my 
faut — it wasna my faut ; he canna wyte me. I aye tauld him o't 
— And the creditors, mair especially some grit neighbours o' his, 
grippit to his living and land ; and they say his wife was turned 
out o' the house to the hill-side, and sair misguided to the boot. 

252 ROB ROY. 

Shamefu' ! shamefu' ! — I am a peacefu' man and a magistrate, but 
if ony ane had guided sae muckle as my servant quean, Mattie, as 
it's like they guided Rob's wife, I think it suld hae set the shabble 
(cutlass) that my father the deacon had at Bothwell brig a-walking 
again. Weel, Rob cam hame, and fand desolation, God- pity us ! 
where he left plenty ; he looked east, west, south, north, and saw 
neither hauld nor hope — neither beild nor shelter ; sae he e'en pu'd 
the bonnet ower his brow, belted the broadsword to his side, took 
to the brae-side, and became a broken-man " (outlaw). 

The voice of the good citizen was broken by his contending feel- 
ings. He obviously, while he professed to contemn the pedigree 
of his Highland kinsman, attached a secret feeling of consequence 
to the connexion, and he spoke of his friend in his prosperity with 
an overflow of affection, which deepened his sympathy for his mis- 
fortunes, and his regret for their consequences. 

" Thus tempted, and urged by despair," said I, seeing Mr. Jarvie 
did not proceed in his narrative, " I suppose your kinsman became 
one of those depredators you have described to us ? " 

" No sae bad as that," said the Glaswegian, — " no a'thegither 
and outricht sae bad as that ; but he became a levier of blapk- 
mail, wider and farther than ever it was raised in our day, a' 
through the Lennox and Menteith, and up to the gates o' Stirling 

" Black-mail ? — I do not understand the phrase," I remarked. 

" Ou, ye see, Rob soon gathered an unco band o' blue-bonnets 
at his back, for he comes o' a rough name when he's kent by his 
ain, and a name that's held its ain for mony a lang year, baith 
again king and parliament, and kirk too, for aught I ken — an auld 
and honourable name, for as sair as it has been worried and 
hadden down and oppressed. My mother was a MacGregor — I 
carena wha kens it — And Rob had soon a gallant band ; and as it 
grieved him (he said) to see sic hership and waste and depreda- 
tion to the south o' the Hieland line, why, if ony heritor or farmer 
wad pay him four punds Scots out of each hundred punds of valued 
rent, whilk was doubtless a moderate consideration, Rob engaged 
to keep them scaithless ; — let them send to him if they lost sae 
muckle as a single cloot by thieving, and Rob engaged to get 
them again, or pay the value — and he aye keepit his word — I 
canna deny but he keepit his word — a' men allow Rob keeps his 

" This is a very singular contract of assurance," said Mr. Owen. 

" It's clean again our statute law, that must be owned," said 
Jarvie, " clean again law — the levying and the paying black-mail, 
are baith punishable : but if the law canna protect my barn and 

ROB ROY. ass- 

byre, whatfor suld I no engage wi' a Hieland gentleman that can? 
— answer me that." 

" But," said I, " Mr. Jarvie, is this contract of black-mail, as 
you call it, completely voluntary on the part of the landlord or 
farmer who pays the insurance ? or what usually happens, in case 
any one refuses payment of this tribute ? " 

" Aha, lad ! " said the Bailie, laughing, and putting his finger 
to his nose, " ye think ye hae me there. Troth, I wad advise ony 
friends o' mine to gree wi' Rob ; for, watch as they like, and do 
what they like, they are sair apt to be harried (plundered) when the 
lang nichts come on. Some o' the Grahame and Cohoon gentry 
stood out ; but what then ? — they lost their haill stock the first 
winter ; sae maist folks now think it best to come into Rob's terms. 
He's easy wi' a' body that will be easy wi' him ; but if ye thraw 
him, ye had better thraw the deevil." 

" And by his exploits in these vocations," I continued, " I 
suppose he has rendered himself amenable to the laws of the 
country ? " 

" Amenable ? — ye may say that ; his craig wad ken the weight 
o' his hurdies if they could get haud o' Rob. But he has gude 
friends amang the grit folks ; and I could tell ye o' ae grit family 
that keeps him up as far as they decently can, to be a thorn in the 
side of another. And then he's sic an auld-farran lang-headed 
chield as never took up the trade o' cateran in our time ; mony a 
daft reik he has played — mair than would fill a book, and a queer 
ane it wad be — as gude as Robin Hood or William Wallace — a' 
fu' o' venturesome deeds and escapes, sic as' folk tell ower at a 
winter-ingle in the daft days. It's a queer thing o' me, gentlemen, 
that am a man o' peace mysell, and a peacefu' man's son, for the 
deacon my father quarrelled wi' nane out o' the town-council — it's 
a queer thing, I say, but I think the Hieland blude o' me warms 
at thae daft tales, and whiles I like better to hear them than a 
word o' profit, gude forgie me 1 — *But they are vanities — sinfu' 
vanities — and, moreover, again the statute law — again the statute 
and gospel law." 

I now followed up my investigation, by inquiring what means of 
influence this Mr. Robert Campbell could possibly possess over 
my affairs, or those of my father. 

" Why, ye are to understand," said Mr. Jarvie, in a very subdued 
tone— "I speak amang friends, and under the rose — Ye are to 
understand, that the Hielands hae been keepit quiet since the year 
aughty-nine — that was Killicrankie year. But how hae they been 
keepij: quiet, think ye ? By siller, Mr. Owen — by siller, Mr. 
Osbaldistone. King William caused Breadalbane distribute twenty 

254 ROB ROY. 

thousand glide punds sterling amang them, and it 's said the auld 
Hieland Earl keepit a lang lug o 't in his ain sporran. And then 
Queen Anne, that 's dead, gae the chiefs bits o' pensions, sae they 
had wherewith to support their gillies and caterans that work nae 
■wark, as I said afore ; and they lay by quiet eneugh, saving some 
spreagherie on the Lowlands, whilk is their use and wont, and 
some cutting, o' thrapples amang themsells, that nae civilized body 
kens or cares onything anent.— Weel, but there's a new warld come 
up wi' this King George (I say God bless him, for ane) — there 's 
neither like to be siller nor pensions gaun amang them ; they 
haena the means o' mainteening the clans that eat them up, as ye 
may guess frae what I said before ; their credit's gane in the Low- 
lands ; and a man that can whistle ye up a thousand or feifteen 
hundred linking lads to do his will, wad hardly get fifty punds on 
his bond at the Cross o' Glasgow — This canna stand lang — there 
will be an outbreak for the Stewarts— there will be an outbreak — 
they will come down on the Low Country like a flood, as they did 
in the w^aefu' wars o' Montrose, and that will be seen and heard 
tell o' ere a twalmonth gangs round." 

" Yet still," I said, " I do not see how this concerns Mr. Camp- 
bell, much less my father's affairs." 

" Rob can levy five hundred men, sir, and therefore war suld 
concern him as muckle as maist folk," replied the Bailie; "for it 
is a faculty that is far less profitable in time o' peace. Then, to 
tell ye the truth, I doubt he has been the prime agent between 
some o' our Hieland chiefs and the gentlemen in the north o' Eng- 
land. We a' heard o' the public money that was taen frae the 
chield Morris somewhere about the fit o' Cheviot by Rob and ane 
o' the Osbaldistone lads ; and, to tell ye the truth, word gaed that 
it was yoursell, Mr. Francis, and sorry was I that your 'father's son 
suld hae taen to sic practices — Na, ye needna say a word about it 
— I see weel I was mistaen ; but I wad believe onything o' a 
stage-player, whilk I concluded ye to be. But now, I doubtna, it 
has been Rashleigh himseU or some other o' your cousins — they 
are a' tarr'd wi' the same stick — rank Jacobites and papists, and 
wad think the government siller and government papers lawfu* 
prize. And the creature Morris is sic a cowardly caitiff, that to 
this hour he daurna say that it was Rob took the portmanteau aff 
him ; and troth he 's right, for your custom-house and excise cattle 
are ill liket on a' sides, and Rob might get a back-handed lick at 
him, before the Board, as they ca 't, could help him." 

" I have long suspected this, Mr. Jarvie," said I, " and perfectly 
agree with you ; but as to my father's affairs " 

" Suspected it ?— it 's certain — it 's certain — I ken them that saw 

ROB ROY. 255 

some of the papers that were taen aff Morris — it's needless to say 
where. But to your fathei^'s affairs — Ye maun think that in thae 
twenty years by-gane, some o' the Hieland lairds and chiefs hae 
come to some sma' sense o' their ain interest — your father and 
others hae bought the woods of Glen-Disseries, Glen Kissoch, 
Tober-na-Kippoch, and mony mair besides, and your father's ' 
house has granted large bills in payment, — and, as the credit o' 
Osbaldistone and Tresham was gude — for I '11 say before Mr. 
Owen's face as I wad behind his back, that, bating misfortunes o' 
the Lord's sending, nae men could be mair honourable in business 
— the Hieland gentlemen, holders o' thae bills, hae found credit in 
Glasgow and Edinburgh — (I might amaist say in Glasgow wholly, 
for it's little the pridefu' Edinburgh folk do in real business) — for 
all, or the greater part of the contents o' thae bills. So that — 
Aha ! d'ye see me now ? " 

I confessed I could not quite follow his drift. 
" Why," said he, " if these bills are not paid, the Glasgow mer- 
chant comes on the Hieland lairds, whae hae deil a boddle o' 
siller, and will like ill to spew up what is item a' spent — They will 
turn desperate — five hundred will rise that might hae sitten at 
hame — the deil will gae ower Jock Wabster — and the stopping of 
your father's house will hasten the outbreak that's been sae lang 
biding us." 

" You think, then," said I, surprised at this singular view of the 
case, " that Rashleigh Osbaldistone has done this injury to my 
father, merely to accelerate a rising in the Highlands, by distressing 
the gentlemen to whom these bills were originally granted ?" 

"Doubtless — doubtless — it has been one main reason, Mr. 
Osbaldistone. I doubtna but what the ready money he carried off 
wi' him might be another. But that makes comparatively but a 
sma' part o' your father's loss, though it might make the maist part 
o' Rashleigh's direct gain. The assets he carried off are of nae 
mair use to him than if he were to light his pipe wi' them. He 
tried if MacVittie and Co. wad gie him siller on them — that I 
ken by Andro Wylie — but they were ower auld cats to draw that 
strae afore them — they keepit aff, and gae fair words. Rashleigh 
Osbaldistone is better ken'd than trusted in Glasgow, for he was 
here about some jacobitical papistical troking in seventeen hundred 
and seven, and left debt ahint him. Na, na, he canna pit aff the 
paper here ; folk will misdoubt him how he came by it. Na, na, 
he'll hae the stuff safe at some o' their haulds in the Hielands, and 
I daur say my cousin Rob could get at it gin he liked." 

"But would he be disposed to serve us in this pinch, Mr. 
Jarvie?" said I. "You have described him as an agent of the 

2s6 ROB ROY. 

Jacobite party, and deeply connected in their intrigues ; will he be 
disposed for my sake, or, if you please, for the sake of justice, to 
make an act of restitution, which, supposing it in his power, 
would, according to your view of the case, materially interfere with 
their plans?," 

" I canna preceesely speak to that — the grandees among them 
are doubtfu' o' Rob, and he's doubtfu' o' them— and he's been weel 
friended wi' the Argyle family, wha stand for the present model of 
government. — If he was freed o' his homings and captions, he wad 
rather be on Argyle's side than he wad be on Breadalbane's, for 
for there's auld ill-will between the Breadalbane family and his kin 
and name. The truth is, that Rob is for his ain hand, as Henry 
Wynd feught *— he'll take the side that suits him best ; if the deil 
was laird, Rob wad be for being tenant ; and ye canna blame him, 
puir fallow, considering his circumstances. But there's ae thing 
sair again ye — Rob has a grey mear in his stable at hame." 

" A grey mare ? " said I. " What is that to the purpose ? " 

" The wife, man — the wife, — an awfu' wife she is. She downa 
bide the sight o' a kindly Scot, if he come frae the Lowlands, far 
less of an Inglisher, and she'll be keen for a' that can set up King 
James, and ding down Kiiig George." 

" It is very singular," I replied, " that the mercantile transactions 
of London citizens should become involved with revolutions and 

"Not at a', man — not at a'," returned Mr. Jarvie ; "that's a' your 
silly prejudications. I read whiles in the lang dark nights, and I 
hae read in Baker's Chronicle, that the merchants o' London could 
gar the Bank of Genoa break their promise to advance a mighty 
sum to the King of Spain, whereby the sailing of the Grand 
Spanish Armada was put aff for a haiU year — ^What think you of 
that, sir?" 

" That the merchants did their country golden service, which 
ought to be honourably remembered in our histories." 

" I think sae too ; and they wad do weel, and deserve weel baith 
o' the state and o' humanity, that wad save three or four honest 
Hieland gentlemen frae louping heads ower heels into destruction, 
wi' a' their puir sackless * followers, just because they canna pay 
back the siller they had reason to count upon as their ain — and save 
your father's credit — and my ain gude siller that Osbaldistone and 
Tresham awes me into the bargain— I say, if ane could manage a' 
this, I think it suld be done and said unto him, even if he were a 
puir ca'-the-shuttle body, as unto one whom the king delighteth to 

" I cannot pretend to estimate the extent of public gratitude," I 


replied ; " but our own thankfulness, Mr. Jarvie, would be com- 
mensurate with the extent of the obligation." 

"Which," added Mr. Owen, "we would endeavour to balance 
with a per contra, the instant our Mr. Osbaldistone returns from 

" I doubtna — I doubtna — he is a very worthy gentleman, and a 
sponsible, and wi' some o' my lichts might do muckle business in 
Scotland — Weal, sir, if these assets could be redeemed out o' the 
hands o' the Philistines, they are gude paper — they are the right 
stuff when they are in the right hands, and that's yours, Mr. Owen. 
— And I'se find ye three men in Glasgow, for as little as ye may 
think o' us, Mr. Owen, — that's Sandy Steenson in the Trade's- 
Land, and John Pirie in Candleriggs, and another that sail be 
nameless at this present, sail advance what soums are sufficient to 
secure the credit of your house, and seek nae better security." 

Owen's eyes sparkled at this prospect of extrication ; but his 
countenance instantly fell on recollecting how improbable it was 
that the recovery of the assets, as he technically called them, 
should be successfully achieved. 

" Dinna despair, sir — dinna despair,'' said Mr. Jarvie ; " I hae 
taen sae muckle concern wi' your affairs already, that it maun een 
be ower shoon ower boots wi' me now. I am just like my father 
the deacon (praise be wi' him !) I canna meddle with a friend's 
business, but I aye end wi' making it my ain — Sae, I'll een pit on 
my boots the morn, and be jogging ower Drymen-Muir wi' Mr. 
Frank here ; and if I canna mak Rob hear reason, and his wife 
too, I dinna ken wha can — I hae been a kind freend to them afore 
now, to say naething o' ower-looking him last night, when naming 
his name wad hae cost him his life — I'll be hearing o' this in the 
council maybe frae Bailie Grahame, and MacVittie, and some o' 
them. They hae coost up my kindred to Rob to me already — set 
up their nashgabs ! I tauld them I wad vindicate nae man's faults; 
but set apart what he had done again the law o' the country, and 
the hership o' the Lennox, and the misfortune o' some folk losing 
life by him, he was an honester man, than stude on ony o' their 
shanks — And whatfor suld I mind their clavers ? — If Rob is an 
outlaw, to himsell be it said — there is nae laws now about reset of 
intercommuned persons, as there was in the ill times o' the last 
Stewarts — I trow I hae a Scotch tongue in my head — if they speak, 
I'se answer." 

It was with great pleasure that I saw the Bailie gradually sur- 
mount the barriers of caution, under the united influence of public 
spirit and good-natured interest in our affairs, together with his 
natural wish to avoid loss and acquire gain, and not a Uttle harm- 


less vanity. Through the combined operation of these motives, he 
at length arrived at the doughty resolution of taking the field in 
person, to aid in the recovery of my father's property. His whole 
information led me to believe, that if the papers were in possession 
of this Highland adventurer, it might be possible to induce him to 
surrender what he could not keep with any prospect of personal 
advantage ; and I was conscious that the presence of his kinsman 
was likely to have considerable weight with him. I therefore 
cheerfully acquiesced in Mr. Jarvie's proposal that we should set 
out early next morning. 

That honest gentleman was indeed as vivacious and alert in 
preparing to carry his purpose into execution, as he had been slow 
and cautious in forming it. He roared to Mattie to " air his trxjt- 
cosy, to have his jackboots greased and set before the kitchen-fire 
all night, and to see that his beast be corned, and a' his riding 
gear in order." Having agreed to meet him at five o'clock next 
morning, and having settled that Owen, whose presence could be 
of no use to us upon this expedition, should await our return at 
Glasgow, we took a kind farewell of this unexpectedly zealous 
friend. I installed- Owen in an apartment in my lodgings, con- 
tiguous to my own, and giving orders to Andrew Fairservice to 
attend me next morning at the hour appointed, I retired to rest 
with better hopes than it had lately been my fortune to entertain. 


Far as the eye could reach no tree was seen, 
Earth', clad in russet, scorned the tively green ;. 
No birds, except as birds of passage, flew ; 
No bee was heard to hum, no dove to coo ; 
No streams, as amber smooths — as amber clear. 
Were seen to glide, or heard^to warble here. 

Prophecy of Famine. 

It was in the bracing atmosphere of a harvest morning, that I ■ 
met by appointment fairservice, with the horses, at the door 
of Mr. Jarvie's house, which was but little space distant from 
Mrs. Flyter's hotel. The first matter which caught my attention 
was, that whatever were the deficiencies of the pony which Mr. 
Fairservice's legal adviser. Clerk Touthope, generously bestowed 
Upon him in exchange for Thorncliff's mare, he had contrived to 
part with it, and procure in its stead an animal with so curious 
and complete a lameness, that it seemed only to make use of three 


legs for the purpose of progression, while the fourth appeared as if 
meant to be flourished in the air by way of accompaniment. " What 
do you mean by bringing such a creature as that here, sir ? and 
where is the pony you rode to Glasgow upon?" were my very 
natural and impatient inquiries. 

" I sell't it, sir. It was a slink beast, and wad hae eaten its 
head aff, standing at Luckie Flyter's at livery. And I hae bought 
this on your honour's account. It's a grand bargain — cost but a 
pund sterling the foot — that's four a'thegither. The stringhalt will 
gae aff when it's gaen a mile ; it's a weel-ken'd ganger ; they call 
it Souple Tam." 

" On my soul, sir," said I, "you will never rest till my supple-jack 
and your shoulders become acquainted. If you do not go instantly 
and procure the other brute, you shall pay the penalty of your 

Andrew, notwithstanding my threats, continued to battle the 
point, as he said it would cost him a guinea of rue-bargain to the 
man who had bought his pony, before he could get it back again. 
Like a true Englishman, though sensible I was duped by the 
rascal, I was about to pay his exaction rather than lose time, when 
forth sallied Mr. Jarvie, cloaked, mantled, hooded, and booted, as 
if for a Siberian winter, while two apprentices, under the imme- 
diate direction of Mattie, led forth the decent ambling steed which 
had the honour on such occasions to support the person of the 
Glasgow magistrate. Ere he " clombe to the saddle," an expres- 
sion more descriptive of the bailie's mode of mounting than that 
of the knights-errant to whom Spenser applies it, he inquired the 
cause of the dispute betwixt my servant and me. Having learned 
the nature of honest Andrew's manoeuvre, he instantly cut short 
all debate, by pronouncing, that if Fairservice did not forthwith 
return the three-legged palfrey, and produce the more useful qua- 
druped, which he had. discarded, he would send him to prison, and 
amerce him in half his wages. " Mr. Qsbaldistone," said he, 
" contracted for the service of both your horse and you — twa 
brutes at ance — ye unconscionable rascal ! — ^but I'se look weel after 
you during this journey," 

" It will be nonsense fining me," said Andrew, doughtily, " that 
hasna a grey groat to pay a fine wi' — it's ill taking the breeks aff a 

" If ye hae nae purse to fine, ye hae flesh to pine," replied the 
Bailie, " and I will look weel to ye getting your deserts the tae way 
or the tither." 

To the commands of Mr. Jarvie, therefore, Andrew was com- 
pelled to submit, only muttering between his teeth, " Ower mony 

26o ROB ROY. 

maisters — ower mony maisters, as the paddock said to the harrow, 
when every tooth gae her a tig." 

Apparently he found no difficulty in getting rid of Supple Tarn, 
and recovering possession of his former Bucephalus, for he accom- 
plished the exchange without being many minutes absent ; nor did 
I hear further of his having paid any smart-money for breach of 

' We now set forward, but had not reached the top of the street 
in which Mr. Jarvie dwelt, when a loud hallooing, and breathless 
call of " Stop ! stop ! " was heard behind us. We stopped accord- 
ingly, and were overtaken by Mr. Jarvie's two lads, who bore two 
parting tokens of Mattie's care for her master. The first was con- 
veyed in the form of a voluminous silk handkerchief, like the main- 
sail of one of his own West-Indiamen, which Mrs. Mattie par- 
ticularly desired he would put about his neck, and which, thus 
entreated, he added to his other integuments. The second young- 
ster brought only a verbal charge (I thought I saw the rogue 
disposed to laugh as he delivered it) on the part of the house- 
keeper, that her master would take care of the waters. " Pooh ! 
pooh ! silly hussy," answered Mr. Jarvie ; but added, turning to me, 
" it shows a kind heart though — it shows a kind heart in sae young 
a quean — Mattie 's a carefii' lass." So speaking, he pricked the 
sides of his palfrey, and we left the town without further inter- 

While we paced easily forward, by a road which conducted us 
north-eastward from the town, I had an opportunity to estimate 
and admire the good qualities of my new friend. Although, like 
my father, he considered commercial transactions the most im- 
portant objects of human life, he was not wedded to them so as to 
undervalue more general knowledge. On the contrary, with much 
oddity and vulgarity of manner, — ^with a vanity which he made 
much more ridiculous by disguising it now and then under a thin 
veil of humility, and devoid as he was of all the advantages of a 
learned education, Mr. Jarvie's conversation showed tokens of a 
shrewd, observing, liberal, and, to the extent of its opportunities, 
a well-improved mind. He was a good local antiquary, and enter- 
tained me, as we j^assed along, with an account of remarkable 
events which had fonnerly taken place in the scenes through which 
we passed. And as he was well acquainted with the ancient his- 
tory of his district, he saw, with the 'prospective eye of an en- 
lightened patriot, the buds of many of those future advantages 
which have only blossomed and ripened within these few years. I 
remarked also, and with great pleasure, that although a keen 
Scotchmp, and abundantly zealous for the honour of his country, 

ROB ROY. 261 

he was disposed to think Hberally of the sister kingdom. When 
Andrew Fairservice (whom, by the way, the bailie could not abide) 
chose to impute the accident of one of the horses casting his shoe 
to the deteriorating influence of the Union, he incurred a severe 
rebuke from Mr. Jarvie. 

"Whisht, sir! — whisht! it's ill-scraped tongues like yours that 
make mischief atween neighbourhoods and nations. There 's nae- 
thing sae gude on this side o' time but it might hae been better, 
and that may be said o' the Union. Nane were keener against it 
than the Glasgow folk, wi' their rabblings and their risings, and 
their mobs, as they ca' them now-a-days. But it 's an ill wind 
blaws naebody gude — Let ilka ane roose the ford as they find it — 
I say, Let Glasgow flourish I whilk is judiciously and elegantly 
putten round the town's arms, by way of by-word. — Now, since 
St. Mungo catched herrings in the Clyde, what was ever like to gar 
us flourish like the sugar and tobacco trade ? Will onybody tell 
me that, and grumble at the treaty that opened us a road west-awa' 
yonder ? " 

Andrew Fairservice was far from acquiescing in these arguments 
of expedience, and even ventured to enter a grumbling protest, 
" That it was an unco change to hae Scotland's laws made in Eng- 
land ; and that, for his share, he wadna for a' the herring-barrels in 
Glasgow, and a' the tobacco-casks to boot, hae gien up the riding 
o' the Scots Parliament, or sent awa' our crown, and our sword, and 
our sceptre, and Mons Meg,* to be keepit by thae English pock- 
puddings in the Tower o' Lunnon. What wad Sir William Wallace, 
or auld Davie Lindsay, hae said to the Union, or them that 
made it?" 

The road which we travelled, while diverting the way with these 
discussions, had become wild and open, as soon as we had left 
Glasgow a mile or two behind us, and was growing more dreary as 
we advanced. Huge continuous heaths spread before, behind, and 
around us, in hopeless barrenness, now level and interspersed with 
swamps, green with treacherous verdure, or sable with turf, or, as 
they call them in Scotland, peat-bogs, and now swelling into huge 
heavy ascents, which wanted the dignity and form of hills, while 
they were still more toilsome to the passenger. There were neither 
trees nor bushes to relieve the eye from the russet livery of absolute 
sterility. The very heath was of that stinted imperfect kind which 
has little or no flower, and affords the coarsest and meanest cover- 
ing which, as far as my experience enables me to judge, mother 
Earth is ever arrayed in. Living thing we saw none, except oc- 
casionally a few straggling sheep of a strange diversity of colours, 
•AS black, blueish, and orange. The sable hue predominated, how- 

262 ROB ROY. 

ever, in their faces and legs. The very birds seemed to shun these 
wastes, and no wonder, since they had an easy method of escaping 
from them ; at least I only heard the monotonous and plaintive 
cries of the lapwing and curlew, which my companions denomi- 
nated the peasweep and whaup. 

At dinner, however, which we took about noon, at a most miser- 
able alehouse, we had the good fortune to find that these tiresome 
screamers of the morass were not the only inhabitants of the moors. 
The goodwife told us, that "the gudeman had been at the hill;" 
and well for us that he had been so, for we enjoyed the produce of 
his chasse in the shape of some broiled moor-game, a dish which 
gallantly eked out the ewe-milk cheese, dried salmon, and oaten 
bread, being all besides that the house afforded. Some very in- 
different two-penny ale, and a glass of excellent brandy, crowned 
our repast ; and as our horses had, in the meantime, discussed their 
corn, we resumed our journey with renovated vigour. 

I had need of all the spirits a good dinner could give, to resist 
the dejection which crept insensibly on my mind, when I combined 
the strange uncertainty of my errand with. the disconsolate aspect 
of the country through which it was leading me. Our road con- 
tinued to be, if possible, more waste and wild than that we had 
travelled in the forenoon. The few miserable hovels that showed 
some marks of human habitation, were now of still rarer occur- 
rence ; and at length, as we be^an to ascend an uninterrupted 
swell of moorland, they totally disappeared. The only exercise 
which my imagination received was, when some particular turn of 
the road gave us a partial view, to the left, of a large assemblage of 
dark-blue mountains stretching to the north and north-west, which 
promised to include within their recesses, a country as wild per- 
haps, but certainly differing greatly in point of interest, from that 
which we now travelled. The peaks of this screen of mountains 
were as wildly varied and distinguished, as the hills which we had 
seen on, the right were tame and lumpish ; and while I gazed on 
this Alpine region, I felt a longing to explore its recesses, though 
accompanied with toil and danger, similar to that which a sailor 
feels when he wishes for the risks and animation of a battle or 
a gale, in exchange for the insupportable monotony of a protracted 
calm. I made various inquiries of my friend Mr. Jarvie, respecting 
the names and positions of these remarkable mountains ; but it was 
a subject on which he had no information, or did not choose to be 
communicative. " They're the Hieland hills— the Hieland hills.— 
Yell see and hear eneugh about them before ye see Glasgow Cross 
again — I downa look at them — I never see them but they gar me 
grew. — It's no for fear— no for fear, but just for grief, for the puir 

ROB ROY. 2S3' 

blinded half-starved creatures that inhabit them — But say nae mair 
about it — it's ill speaking o' Hielandmen sae near the line. I hae 
ken'd mony an honest man wad na hae ventured this length with- 
out he had made his last will and testament — Mattie had ill-will to 
see me set awa on this ride, and grat awee, the sillie tawpie ; but 
it's nae mair ferlie to see a woman greet than to see a goose gang 

I next attempted to lead the discourse on the character and 
history of the person whom we were going to visit ; but on this 
topic Mr. Jarvie was totally inaccessible, owing perhaps in part to 
the attendance of Mr. Andrew Fairservice, who chose to keep so 
close in our rear, that his ears could not fail to catch every word 
which was spoken, while his tongue assumed the freedom of ming- 
ling in our conversation as often as he saw an opportunity. For 
this he occasionally incurred Mr. Jarvie's reproof. 

" Keep back, sir, as best sets ye," said the BaiUe, as Andrew 
pressed forward to catch the answer to some question I had asked 
about Campbell; — "Ye wad fain ride the fore-horse, an ye wist 
how. — That chield's aye for being out o' the cheese-fat he was 
moulded in. — Now, as for your questions, Mr. Osbaldistone, now 
that chield's out of ear- shot, I'll just tell ye it's free to you to speer, 
and it's free to me to answer, or no — Gude I canna say muckle o' 
Rob, pair chield ; ill I winna say o' him, for, forby that he's my 
cousin, we're coming near his ain country, and there may be ane o' 
his giUies ahint every whin-bush, for what I ken — And if ye'U be 
guided by my advice, the less ye speak about him, or where we are 
gaun, or what we are gaun to do, we'U be the mair likely to speed 
us in our errand. For it's like we may fa' in wi' some o' his un- 
freends— there are e'en ower mony o' them about — and his bonnet 
sits even on liis brow yet for a' that ; but I doubt they'll be upsides 
wi Rob at the last — air day or late day, the fox's hide finds aye the 
flaying knife." 

" I will certainly," I replied, " be entirely guided by your 

" Right, Mr. Osbaldistone— right, — But I maun speak to this 
gabbling skyte too, for bairns and fules speak at the Cross what 
they hear at the ingle- side. — D'ye hear, you Andrew — what's your 
name — Fairservice ! " 

Andrew, who at the last rebuff had fallen a good way behind, did 
not choose to acknowledge the summons. 

" Andrew, ye scoundrel?" repeated Mr. Jarvie ; " here, sir ! here ! " 

" Here is for the dog," said Andrew, coming up sulkily. 

" 111 gie you dog's wages, ye rascal, if ye dinna attend to what I 
say t'ye — ^We are gaun into the Hielands a bit" 

264 ROB ROY. 

" I judged as muckle," said Andrew. 

" Haud your peace, ye knave, and hear what I have to say till 
ye — We are gaun a bit into the Hielands " 

" Ye tauld me sae already," replied the incorrigible Andrew. 

" 111 break your head," said the Bailie, rising in wrath, " if ye 
dinna haud your tongue." 

"A hadden tongue," replied Andrew, "makes a slabbered 

It was now necessary I should interfere, which I did by com- 
manding Andrew, with an authoritative tone, to be silent at his peril. 

" I am silent," said Andrew. " I'se do a' your lawfu' bidding 
without a nay-say. — My puir mither used aye to tell me, 

' Be it better, be it worse. 
Be ruled by him that has the purse.' 

Sae ye may e'en speak as lang as ye like, baith the tane and the 
tither o' you, for Andrew." 

Mr. Jarvie took the advantage of his stopping after quoting the 
above proverb, to give him the requisite instructions. 

" Now, sir, it's as muckle as your life's worth — that wad be dear 
o' little siller, to be sure — but it is as muckle as a' our lives are 
worth, if ye dinna mind what I say to ye. In this public whar 
we are gaun to, and whar it is like we may hae to stay a' night, 
men o' a' clans and kindred — Hieland and Lawland — ^tak up their 
quarters — And whiles there are mair drawn dirks than open Bibles 
amang them, when the usquebaugh gets uppermost. See ye neither 
meddle nor mak, nor gie nae offence wi' that clavering tongue 
o' yours, but keep a calm sough, and let ilka cock fecht his ain 

" Muckle needs to tell me that," said Andrew, contemptuously, 
" as if I had never seen a Hielandman before, and ken'd nae how 
to manage them. Nae man alive can cuitle up Donald better than 
myseU — I hae bought wi' them, sauld wi' them, eaten wi' them, 
drucken wi' them " 

" Did ye ever fight wi' them ? " said Mr. Jarvie. 

" Na, na," answered Andrew, " I took care o' that : it wad ill hae 
set me, that am an artist and half a scholar to my trade, to be 
fighting amang a wheen kilted loons that dinna ken the name o' 
a single herb or flower in braid Scots, let abee in the Latin tongue." 

" Then," said Mr. Jarvie, " as ye wad keep either your tongue in 
your mouth, or your lugs in your head (and ye might miss them, 
for as saucy members as they are), I charge ye to say nae word, 
gude or bad, that ye can weel get by, to onybody that may be in the 
Clachan. And ye'll specially understand that ye're no to be bleez- 

ROB ROY. 26s 

ing and blasting about your master's name and mine, or saying that 
this is Mr. Bailie Nicol Jarvie o' the Saut-Market, son o' the worthy 
Deacon Nicol Jarvie, that a' body has heard about ; and this is 
Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, son of the managing partner of the great 
house of Osbaldistone and Tresham, in the City." 

" Eneuch said," answered Andrew — " eneuch said. What need 
ye think I wad be speaking about your names for ? — I hae mony 
things o' mair importance to speak about, I trow." 

" It's thae very things of importance that I am feared for, ye 
blethering goose ; ye maunna speak ony thing, gude or bad, that 
ye can by any possibility help." , 

" If ye dinna think me fit," replied Andrew, in a huff, " to speak 
like ither folk, gie me my wages and my board-wages, and I'se gae 
back to Glasgow. — There's sma' sorrow at our parting, as the auld 
mear said to the broken cart." 

Finding Andrew's perverseness again rising to a point which 
threatened to occasion me inconvenience, I was under the necessity 
of explaining to him, that he might return if he thought proper, but 
that in that case I would not pay him a single farthing for his past 
services. Theargumenta^ criefnenam,a.sithiLS been called by jocular 
logicians, has weight with the greater part of mankind, and Andrew 
was, in that particular, far from affecting any trick of singularity. 
He " drew in his horns," to use the Bailie's phrase, on the instant, 
professed no intention whatever to disoblige, and a resolution to be 
guided by my commands, whatever they might be. 

Concord being thus happily restored to our small party, we con- 
tinued to pursue our journey. The road, which had ascended for 
six or seven English miles, began now to descend for about the 
same space, through a country which neither in fertility nor interest 
could boast any advantage over that which we had passed already, 
and which afforded no variety, unless when some tremendous peak 
of a Highland mountain appeared at a distance. We continued, 
however, to ride on without pause ; and even when night fell and 
overshadowed the desolate wilds which we traversed, we were, as I 
understood from Mr. Jarvie, still three miles and a bittock distant 
from the place where we were to spend the night. 

266 ROB ROY. 


Baron of Bucklivie, 
May the foul fiend drive ye, 
And a' to pieces rive ye, 
For building sic a toun, 
Where there's neither horse meat, nor man's meat, 
nor a chair to sit doun. 

Scottish Popular Rhymes on a bad Inn. 

The night was pleasant, and the moon afforded us good light for 
our journey. Under her raysj the ground over which we passed 
assumed a more interesting appearance than during the broad day- 
light, which discovered the extent of its wasteness. The mingled 
light and shadows gave it an interest which naturally did not belong 
to it ; and, like the effect of a veil flung over a plain woman, irritated 
our curiosity on a subject which had in itself nothing gratifying. 

The descent, however, still continued, turned, winded, left the 
more open heaths, and got into steeper ravines, which promised 
soon to lead us to the banks of some brook or river, and ultimately 
made good their presage. We found ourselves at length on the 
bank of a stream, which rather resembled one of ray native English 
rivers than those I had hitherto seen in Scotland. It was narrow, 
deep, still, and silent ; although the imperfect light, as it gleamed 
on its placid waters, showed also that we were now among the lofty 
mountains which formed its cradle. " That's the Forth," said the 
Bailie, with an air of reverence, which I have observed the Scotch 
usually pay to their distinguished rivers. The Clyde, the Tweed, 
the Forth, the Spey, are usually named by those who dwell on their 
banks with a sort of respect and pride, and I have known duels 
occasioned by any word of disparagement. I cannot say I have 
the least quarrel with this sort of harmless enthusiasm. I received 
my friend's communication with the importance which he seemed 
to think appertained to it.' In fact, I was not a little pleased, after 
so long and dull a journey, to approach a region which promised to 
engage the imagination. My faithful squire, Andrew, did not seem 
to be quite of the same opinion, for he received the solemn informa- 
tion, " That is the Forth," with a " Umph !— an he had said that's 
the public-house, it wad hae been niair to the purpose." 

The Forth, however, as far as the imperfect light permitted me to 
judge, seemed to merit the admiration of those who claimed an 
interest in its stream. A beautiful eminence of the most regular 
round shape, and clothed with copsewood of hazels, mountain-ash, 

ROB ROY. 267 

and dwarf-oak, intermixed with a few magnificent old trees, which, 
rising above the miderwood, exposed their forked and bared 
branches to the silver moonshine, seemed to protect the sources 
from which the river sprung. If I could trust the tale of my com- 
panion, which, while professing to disbelieve every word of it, he 
told under his breath, and with an air of something like intimida- 
tion, this hill, so regularly formed, so richly verdant, and garlanded 
with such a beautiful variety of ancient trees and thriving copse- 
wood, was held by the neighbourhood to contain, within its unseen 
caverns, the palaces of the fairies ; a race of airy beings, who formed 
an intermediate class between men and demons, and who, if not 
positively malignant to humanity, were yet to be avoided and 
feared, on account of their capricious, vindictive, and irritable 

"They ca' them," said Mr. Jarvie, in a whisper, '■'• Daoitu Sckie, 
whilk signifies, as I understand, men of peace ; meaning thereby to 
make their gudewill. And we may e'en as weel ca' them that too, 
Mr. Osbaldistone, for there's nae gude in speaking ill o' the laird 
within his ain bounds." But he added presently after, on seeing 
one or two lights which twinkled before us, " It's deceits o' Satan, 
after a', and I fearna to say it — for we are near the manse now, and 
yonder are the lights in the Clachan of Aberfoil." 

I own I was well pleased at the circumstance to which Mr. Jarvie 
alluded ; not so much that it set his tongue at liberty, in his opinion, 
with all safety, to declare his real sentiments with respect 'to the 
Daoine Schie, or fairies, as that it promised some hours' repose to 
ourselves and our horses, of which, after a ride of fifty miles and 
upwards, both stood in some need. 

We crossed the infant Forth by an old-fashioned stone bridge, 
very high and very narrow. My conductor, however, informed me, 
that to get through this deep and important stream, and to clear all 
its tributary dependencies, the general pass from the Highlands to 
the southward lay by what was called the Fords of Frew, at all 
times deep and difficult of passage, and often altogether unfordable 
Beneath these fords there was no pass of general resort until so far 
east as the bridge of Stirling ; so that the river of Forth forms a 
defensible line betwixt the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, 
from its source nearly to the Frith, or inlet of the ocean, in which 
it terminates. The subsequent events which we witnessed led me 
to recall with attention what the shrewdness of Bailie Jarvie sug- 
gested in his proverbial expression, that " Forth bridles, the wild 

About half a mile's riding, after we crossed the bridge, placed us 
at the door of the public-house where we were to .pass the evening. 

268 ROB ROY. 

It was a hovel rather worse than better than that in which we had 
dined ; but its Uttle windows were lighted up, voices were heard 
from within, and all intimated a prospect of food and shelter, to 
which we were by no means indifferent. Andrew was the fir^t to 
observe that there was a peeled willow-wand placed across the half- 
open door of the little inn. He hung back, and advised us not to 
enter. " For," said Andrew, " some of their chiefs and grit men 
are birling at the usquebaugh in by there, and dinna want to be 
.disturbed ; and the least we'll get, if we gang ram-stam in on them, 
will be a broken head, to learn us better havings, if we dinna come 
by the length of a cauld dirk in our wame, whilk is just as 

I looked at the Bailie, who acknowledged, in a whisper, " that the 
gowk had some reason for singing, ance in the year." 

Meantime a staring half-clad wench or two came out of the inn 
and the neighbouring cottages, on hearing the sound of our horses' 
feet. No one bade us welcome, nor did any one offer to take our 
horses from which we had alighted ; and to our various inquiries, 
the hopeless response of" Ha niel Sassenach," was the only answer 
we could extract. The Bailie, however, found (in his experience) a 
way to make them speak English. " If I gie ye a bawbee," said he 
to an urchin of about ten years old, with a fragment of a tattered 
plaid about him, " will you understand Sassenach ? " 

" Ay, ay, that will I," replied the brat, in very decent English. 

" Then gang and tell your mammy, my man, there's twa Sasse- 
nach gentlemen come to speak wi' her." 

The landlady presently appeared, with a lighted piece of split fir 
blazing in her hand. The turpentine in this species of torch (which 
is generally dug from out the turf-bogs) makes it blaze and sparkle 
readily, so that it is often used in the Highlands in lieu of candles. 
On this occasion such a torch illuminated the wild and anxious 
features of a female, pale, thin, and rather above the usual size, 
whose soiled and ragged dress, though aided by a plaid or tartan 
screen, barely served the purposes of decency, and certainly not 
those of comfort. Her black hair, which escaped in uncombed 
elf-locks from under her coif, as well as the strange and embar- 
rassed look vidth which she regarded us, gave me the idea of a 
witch disturbed in the midst of her unlawful rites. She plainly 
refused to admit us into the house. We remonstrated anxiously, 
and pleaded the length of our journey, the state of our horses, and 
the certainty that there was not another place where we could be 
received nearer than Callander, which the Bailie stated to be seven 
Scots miles distant. How many these may exactly amount to in 
English measurement, I have never been able to ascertain, but I 

ROB ROY. 269 

think the double ratio may be pretty safely taken as a medium 
computation. The obdurate hostess treated our expostulation with 
contempt. — " Better gang farther than fare waur," she said, speak- 
ing the Scottish Lowland dialect, and being indeed a native of the 
Lennox district — " Her house was taen up wi' them wadna like to 
be intruded on wi' strangers. — She didna ken wha mair might be 
there — redcoats, it might be, frae the garrison." (These last words 
she spoke under her breath, and with very strong emphasis.) " The 
night," she said, " was fair abune head — a night amang the heather 
wad caller our bloods — we might sleep in our claes, as mony a gude 
blade does in the scabbard — there wasna muckle flowmoss in the 
shaw, if we took up our quarters right, and we might pit up our 
horses to the hill, naebody wad say naething against it." 

" But, my good woman," said I, while the Bailie groaned and 
remained undecided, " it is six hours since we dined, and we have 
hot taken a morsel since. I am positively dying with hunger, and 
I have no taste for taking up my abode supperless among these 
mountains of yours. I positively must enter ; and make the best 
apology you can to your guests for adding a stranger or two to 
their number. — Andrew, you will see the horses put up." 

The Hecate looked at me with surprise, and then ejaculated, " A 
wilfu' man will hae his way — them that will to Cupar maun to 
Cupar ! — To see thae English belly-gods — he has had ae fu' meal 
the day already, and he'll venture life and liberty, rather than he'll 
want a het supper ! Set roasted beef and pudding on the opposite 
side o' the pit o' Tophet, and an Englishman will mak a spang at 
it — But I wash my hands o't — Follow me, sir " (to Andrew), " and 
I'se show ye where to pit the beasts." 

I own I was somewhat dismayed at my landlady's expressions, 
which seemed to be ominous of some approaching danger. . I did 
not, however, choose to shrink back after having declared my reso- 
lution, and accordingly I boldly entered the house ; and after 
narrowly escaping breaking my shins over a turf back and a salting 
tub, which stood on either side of the narrow exterior passage, I 
opened a crazy half-decayed door, constructed not of plank, but of 
wicker, and, followed by the BaiUe, entered into the principal apart- 
ment of this Scottish caravansary. 

The interior presented a view which seemed singular enough to 
southern eyes. The fire, fed with blazing turf and branches of 
dried wood, blazed merrily in the centre ; but the smoke, having no 
means to escape but through a hole in the roof, eddied round the 
rafters of the cottage, and hung in sable folds at the height of about 
five feet from the floor. The space beneath was kept pretty clear 
by innumerable currents of air, which rushed towards the fire from 

270 ROB ROY. 

the broken panel of basket-work which served as a door, from two 
square holes, designed as ostensible windows, through one of which 
was thrust a plaid, and through the other a tattered great-coat ; 
and moreover,, through various less distinguishable apertures in 
the walls of the tenement, which, being built of round stones and 
turf, cemented by mud, let in the atmosphere at innumerable 

At an old caken table, adjoining to the fire, sat three men, guests 
apparently, whom it was impossible to regard with indifference. 
Two were in the Highland dress ; the one, a little dark-com- 
plexioned man, with a lively, quick, and irritable expression of 
features, wore the trews, or close pantaloons, wove out of a sort of 
chequered stocking stuff. The Bailie whispered me, that " he be- 
hoved to be a man of some consequence, for that naebody but their 
Duinh^wassels wore the trews ; they were ill to weave exactly to 
their Highland pleasure." • 

The other mountaineer was a very tall, strong man, with a 
quantity of reddish hair, freckled face, high cheek-bones, and long 
chin — a sort of caricature of the national features of Scotland. The 
tartan which he wore differed from that of his companion, as itrhad 
much more scarlet in it, whereas the shades of black and dark 
green predominated in the chequers of the other. The third, who 
sate at the same table, was in the Lowland dress, — a bold, stout- 
looking man, with a cast of military daring in his eye and manner, 
his riding-dress showily and profusely laced, and his cocked.hat of 
formidable dimensions. His hanger and a pair of pistols lay on the 
table before him. Each of the Highlanders had their naked, dirks 
stuck upright in the board beside him, — an emblem, I was after- 
wards informed, but surely a strange one, that their compotation 
was not to be interrupted by any brawl. A mighty pewter measure, 
containing about an English quart of usquebaugh, a liquor nearly 
as strong as brandy, which the Highlanders distil from: malt, and 
drink undiluted in excessive quantities, was placed before these 
worthies. A broken glass, with a wooden foot, served as a drinking 
cup to the whole party, and circulated with a rapidity, which, con- 
sidering the potency of the liquor, seemed absolutely marvellous. 
These men spoke loud and eagedy together, sometimes in Gaelic, 
at other times in English. Another Highlander, wrapt in his plaid, 
reclined on the floor, his head resting on a stone, from which it was 
only separated by a wisp of straw, and slept, or seemed to sleep, 
without attending to what was going on around him. He also was 
probably a stranger, for he lay in full dress, and accoutred with the 
sword and target, the usual arms of his countrymen when on a 
journey. Cribs there were of different dimensions beside the walls, 

ROB ROY. 271 

formed, some of fractured boards, some of shattered wicker-work or 
plaited boughs, in which slumbered the family of the house, men, 
women, and children, their places of repose only concealed by the 
dusky wreaths of vapour which arose above, below, and around 

Our entrance was made so quietly, and the carousers I have 
described were so eagerly engaged in their discussions, that we 
escaped their notice for a minute or two. But I observed the 
Highlander who lay beside the fire raise himself on his elbow as we 
entered, and, drawing his plaid over the lower part of his face, fix 
his look on us for a few seconds, after which he resumed his 
recumbent posture, and seemed again to betake himself to the 
repose which our entrance had interrupted. 

We advanced to the fire, which was an agreeable spectacle after 
our late ride, during the chillness of an autumn evening among the 
mountains, and first attracted the attention of the guests who had 
preceded us, by calling for the landlady. She approached, looking 
doubtfully and timidly, now at us, now at the other party, and 
returned a hesitating and doubtful 'answer to our request to have 
something to eat. 

" She didna ken," she said, " she wasna sure there was onything 
in the house," and then modified her refusal with the qualification 
— " that is, onything fit for the like of us." 

I assured her we were indifferent to the quality of our supper ; 
and looking round for the means of accommodation, which were 
not easily to be found, I arranged an old hen-coop as a seat for 
Mr. Jarvie, and turned down a broken tub to serve for, my own. 
Andrew Fairservice entered presently afterwards, and took a place 
in silence behind our backs. The natives, as I may call them, 
continued staring at us with an air as if confounded by our as- 
surance; and we, at least I myself, disguised as well as we could, 
under an appearance of indifference, any secret anxiety we might 
feel concerning the mode in which we were to be received by those 
whose privacy we had disturbed. 

At length, the lesser Highlander, addressing himself to me, said, 
in very good English, and in a tone of great haughtiness, " Ye 
make yourself at home, sir, I see." 

" I usually do so," I replied, " when I come into a house of public 

" And did she na see," said the taller man, " by the white wand 
at the door, that gentlemans had taken up the public-house on 
their ain business ? " 

" I do not pretend to understand the customs of this country ; 
but I am yet to learn," I replied, " how three persons should be 

272 ROB ROY. 

entitled to exclude all other travellers from the only place of shelter 
and refreshment for miles round." 

" There's nae reason for 't, gentlemen," said the Bailie ; " we 
mean nae offence — but there's neither law nor reason for't — but as 
far as a stoup o' gude brandy wad make up the quarrel, we, being 
peaceable folk, wad be willing." 

" Damn your brandy, sir ! " said the Lowlander, adjusting his 
cocked-hat fiercely upon his head ; " we desire neither your brandy 
nor your company," and up he rose from his seat. His companions 
also arose, muttering to each other, drawing up their plaids, and 
snorting and snuffing the air after the manner of their countrymen 
when working themselves into a passion. 

" I tauld ye what wad come, gentlemen," said the landlady, " an 
ye wad hae been tauld ; — get awa' wi' ye out o' my house, and make 
nae disturbance here — there's nae gentleman be disturbed at Jeanie 
MacAlpine's an she can hinder. A wheen idle English loons, 
gaun about the country under cloud o' night, and disturbing honest 
peaceable gentlemen that are drinking their drap drink at the fire- 
side ! " 

At another time I should have thought of the old Latin adage, 

" Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas " 

But I had not any time for classical quotation, for there was 
obviously a fray about to ensue, at which, feeling myself indignant 
at the inhospitable insolence with which I was treated, I was 
totally indifferent, unless on the Bailie's account, whose person and 
qualities were ill qualified for such an adventure. I started up, 
however, on seeing the others rise, and dropped my cloak from my 
shoulders, that I might be ready to stand on the defensive, 

" We are three to three," said the lesser Highlander, glancing his 
eyes at our party : " if ye be pretty men, draw ! " and, unsheathing 
his broad-sword, he advanced on me. I put myself in a posture of 
defence, and, aware of the superiority of my weapon, a rapier or 
small-sword, was little afraid of the issue of the contest. The 
bailie behaved with unexpected mettle. As he saw the gigantic 
Highlander confront him with his weapon drawn, he tugged for a 
second or two at the hilt of his shabble, as he called it ; but finding 
it loth to quit the sheath, to which it had long been secured by rust 
and disuse, he seized, as a substitute, on the red-hot coulter of a 
plough which had been employed in arranging the fire by way of a 
poker, and brandished it with such effect, that at the first pass he 
set the Highlander's plaid on fire, and compelled him to keep a 
respectful distance till he could get it extinguished. Andrew, on 

ROB ROY. 273 

the contrary, who ought to have faced the Lowland champion, had, 
I grieve to say it, vanished at the very commencement of the fray. 
But his antagonist, crying " Fair play 1 fair play ! " seemed 
courteously disposed to take no share in the scuffle. Thus we 
commenced our rencontre on fair terms as to numbers. My own 
aim was, t"o possess myself, if possible, of my antagonist's weapon ; 
but I was deterred from closing, for fear of the dirk which he held 
in his left hand, and used in parrying the thrusts of my rapier. 
Meantime the Bailie, notwithstanding the success of his first onset, 
was sorely bested. The weight of his weapon, the corpulence of 
his person, the very effervescence of his own passions, were rapidly 
exhausting both his strength and his breath, and he was almost at 
the mercy of his antagonist, when up started the sleeping High- 
lander from the floor on which he reclined, with his naked sword 
and target in his hand, and threw himself between the discomfited 
magistrate and his assailant, exclaiming, " Her nainsell has eaten 
the town pread at the Cross o' Glasgow, and py her troth she'll 
fight for Bailie Sharvie at the Clachan of Aberfoil — tat will she 
e'en ! " And seconding his words with deeds, this unexpected 
auxiliary made his sword whistle about the ears of his tall country- 
man, who, nothing abashed, returned his blows with interest. But 
being both accoutred with round targets made of wood, studded 
with brass, and covered with leather, with which they readily 
parried each other's strokes, their combat was attended with much 
more noise and clatter than serious risk of damage. It appeared, 
indeed, that there was more of bravado than of serious attempt to 
do us any injury ; for the Lowland gentleman, who, as I mentioned, 
had stood aside for want of an antagonist when the brawl comr 
menced, was now pleased to act the part of moderator and peace- 

" Hand your hands — haud your hands ! — eneugh done — eneugh 
done ! — the quarrel's no mortal. The strange gentlemen have 
shown themselves men of honour, and gien reasonable satisfaction. 
I'll stand on mine honour as kittle as ony man, but I hate unneces- 
sary bloodshed." 

It was not, of course, my wish to protract the fray — ^my adversary 
seemed equally disposed to sheathe his sword — the Bailie, gasping 
for breath, might be considered as hors de combat, and our two 
sword-and-buCkler men gave up their contest with as much indif- 
ference as they had entered into it. 

"And now," said the worthy gentleman who acted as umpire, 
"let us drink and gree like honest fellows — The house will haud us 
a'. I propose that this good little gentleman, that seems sair -for- 
foughen, as I may say, in this tuilzie, shall send for a tass o' brandy, 


274 ROB ROY. 

and I'll pay for another, by way of archdlowe,* and then, we'll birl 
our bawbees a' round about, like brethren." 

" And fa's to pay my new ponnie plaid," said the larger High- 
lander, " wi' a hole burnt in't ane^ might put a kail-pat through ? 
Saw ever onybody a decent gentleman fight wi' a firebrand 

" Let that be nae hinderance," said the Bailie, wha had now 
recovered his breath, and was at once disposed to enjoy the 
triumph of having behaved with spirit,, and avoid the necessity of 
again resorting to such hard and doubtful arbitrement ; — " Gin I 
hae broken the head," he said, " I sail find the plaister. A new 
plaid sail ye hae, and o' the best — your ain clan-colours, man — an 
ye will tell me where it can be sent t' ye frae Glasco." 

" I needna name my clan — I am of a king's clan, as is weel 
ken'd," said the Highlander ; " but ye may tak a bit o' the plaid — 
figh ! she smells like a singit sheep's head ! — and that '11 learn ye the 
sett — and a gentleman, that's a cousin o' my ain, that carries eggs 
doun frae Glencroe, will ca' for 't about Martimas, an ye will tell 
her where ye bide. But, honest gentleman, neist time ye fight, an 
ye hae ony respect for your athversary, let it be wi' your sword, 
man, since ye wear ane, and no wi' thaehet culters and fireprands, 
like a wild Indian," 

" Conscience ! " replied the Bailie, " every man maun do as he 
dow — my sword hasna seen the light since Bothwell Brigg, when 
my father, that's dead and gane, ware it ; and I kenna weel if it 
was forthcoming then either, for the battle was o' the briefest. — At 
ony rate, it's glewed to the scabbard now beyond my power to part 
them ; and, finding that, I e'en grippit at the first thing I could 
make a fend wi'. I trow my fighting days is done, though I hke 
ill to take the scorn, for a' that. — But where's the honest lad that 
tuik my quanel on himsell sae frankly? — I'se bestow a gill o' 
aquavitae on him, an I suld never ca' for anither." 

The champion for whom he looked around was, however, no 
longer to be seen. He had escaped unobserved by the Bailie, 
immediately when the brawl was ended, yet not before I had 
recognised, in his wild features and shaggy red hair, our ac- 
quaintance Dougal, the fugitive turnkey of the Glasgow jail. I 
communicated this observation in a whisper to the Bailie, who 
answered in the same tone, " Weel, weel, I see that him that ye ken 
o' said very right. There is some glimmering o' common sense 
about, that creature Dougal ; I maun see and think o' something 
will do him some gude." 

Thus saying, he sat down, and fetching one or two deep aspira- 
tions, by way of recovering his breath, called to the landlady ; " I 

ROB ROY. 27s 

think, Luckie, now that I find that there's nae hole in my wame, 
whilk I had mucklc reason to doubt frae the doings o' your house, 
I wad be the better o' something to pit intill't." 

The dame, who was all officiousness so soon as the storm had 
blown over, immediately undertook to broil something comfortable 
for our supper. Indeed, nothing surprised me more, in the course 
of the whole matter, than the extreme calmness with which she 
and her household seemed to regard the martial tumult that had 
taken place. The good woman was only heard to call to some of 
her assistants, " Steek the door ! — steek the door ! — Kill or be 
killed, let naebody pass out till they hae paid the lawin." And as 
for the slumberers in those lairs by the wall, which served the 
family for beds, they only raised their shirtless bodies to look at 
the fray, ejaculated, " Oigh ! oigh ! " in the tone suitable to their 
respective sex and ages, and were, I believe, fast asleep again, ere 
our swords were well returned to their scabbards. 

Our landlady, hewever, now made a great bustle to get some 
victuals ready, and, to my surprise, vejy soon began to prepare for 
us, in the frying-pan, a savoury mess of venison coUops, which she 
dressed in a manner that might well satisfy hungry men, if not 
epicures. In the meantime the brandy was placed on the table, to 
which the Highlanders, however partial to their native strong 
waters, shewed no objection, but much the contrary ; and the 
Lowland gentleman, after the first cup had passed round, 
became desirous to know our profession, and the object of our 

" We are bits o' Glasgow bodies, if it please your honour," said 
the Bailie, with an affectation of great humility, "travelling to 
Stirling to get in some siller that is awing us." 

I was so silly as to feel a little disconcerted at the unassuming 
account which he chose to give of us ; but I recollected my promise 
to be silent, and allow the Bailie to manage the matter his own 
way. And really, when I recollected. Will, that I had not only 
brought the honest man a long journey from home, which even in 
itself had been some inconvenience (if I were to judge from the 
obvious pain and reluctance with which he took his seat or arose 
from it) but had also put him within a hair's breadth of the loss 'of 
his life, I could hardly refuse him such a compliment. The spokes- 
man of the other party, snuffing up his' breath through his nose, 
repeated the words with a sort of sneer : — " You Glasgow trades- 
folks hae naething to do but to gang frae the tae end o' the west o' 
Scotland to the ither, to plague honest folks that may chance to be 
awee ahint the hand, like me." 

" If our debtors were a' sic honest gentlemen as I believe you to 

s 2 

»76 ROB ROY. 

be, Garscliattachin," replied the Bailie, " conscience ! we might 
save ourselves a labour, for they wad come to seek us." 

" Eh ! what ! how ! " exclaimed the person whom he had 
addressed, " as I shall live by bread (not forgetting beef and 
brandy), it's my auld friend Nicol Jarvie, the best man that ever 
counted doun merks on a bond till a distressed gentleman. Were 
ye na coming up my way ? — were ye na coming up the Endrick to 
Garschattachin ? " 

" Troth no, Maister Galbraith," replied the Bailie, " I had other 
eggs on the spit — and I thought ye wad be saying I cam to look 
about the annual rent that's due on the bit heritable band that's 
between us." 

" Damn the annual rent ! " said the laird, with an appearance of 
great heartiness — " Deil a wordo' business will you or I speak, now 
that ye 're sae near my country. — To see how a trot-cosey and a 
Joseph can disguise a man — that I suldna ken my auld feal friend 
the deacon ! " 

" The bailie, if ye please," resumed my companion ; " but I ken 
what gars ye mistak — the band was granted to my father that 's 
happy, and he was deacon ; but his name was Nicol as weel as 
mine. I dinna mind that there 's been a payment of principal sum 
or annual rent on it in my day, and doubtless that has made the 

"Weel, the devil take the mistake and all that occasioned it !" 
replied Mr. Galbraith. " But I am glad ye are a bailie. Gentle- 
men, fill a brimmer — this is my excellent friend. Bailie Nicol 
Jarvie's health— I ken'd him and his father these twenty years. 
Are ye a' cleared kelty aff? — Fill anither. Here's to his being 
sune provost — I say provost — Lord Provost Nicol Jarvie ! — and 
them that affirms there 's a man walks the Hie-Street o' Glasgow 
that 's fitter for the office, they will do weel not to let me, Duncan 
Galbraith of Garschattachan, hear them say sae — that's all." And 
therewith Duncan Galbraith martially cocked his hat, and placed it 
on one side of his head with an air of defiance. 

The brandy was probably the best recommendation of these com- 
plimentary toasts to the two Highlanders, who drank them without 
appearing anxious to comprehend their purport. They commenced 
a conversation with Mr. Galbraith in Gaelic, which he talked with 
perfect fluency, being, as I afterwards learned, a near neighbour to 
the Highlands. 

" I ken'd that Scant-o'-grace weel eneugh frae the very outset," 
said the Bailie, in a whisper to me ; " but when blude was warm, 
and swords were out at ony rate, wha kens what way he might hae 
thought o' paying his debts .' it will be lang or he does it in common 

ROB ROY. 277 

form. But he 's an honest lad, and has a warm heart too ; he disna 
come often to the Cross o' Glasgow, but mony a buck and black- 
cock he sends us doun frae the hills. And I can want my siller weel 
eneugh. My father the deacon had a great regard for the family of 

Supper being now nearly ready, I looked round for Andrew Fair- 
service ; but that trusty follower Had not been seen by any one 
since the beginning of the rencontre. The hostess, however, said 
that she believed our servant had gone into the stable, and offered 
to light me to the place, saying that " no entreaties of the bairns or 
hers could make him give any answer ; and that truly she caredna 
to gang into the stable hersell at this hour. She was a lone woman, 
and it was weel ken'd how the Brownie of Ben-ye-gask guided the 
gude wife of Ardnagowan ; and it was aye judged there was a 
Brownie in our stable, which was just what garr'd me gie ower 
keeping an hostler." 

As, however, she lighted me towards the miserable hovel into 
which they had crammed our unlucky steeds, to regale themselves 
on hay, every fibre of which was as thick as an ordinary goose 
quill, she plainly showed me that she had another reason for draw- 
ing me aside from the company than that which her words implied. 
" Read that," she said, slipping a piece of paper into my hand as 
we arrived at the door of the shed ; " I bless God I am rid o't. 
Between sogers and Saxons, and caterans and cattle-lifters, and 
hership and bluidshed, an honest woman wad live quieter in hell 
than on the Highland line." 

So saying, she put the pine-torch into my hand, and returned 
into the house. 


Bagpipes, not lyres, the Highland hills adorn, 
MacLean's loud hollo, and Macgregor's horn. 

Johii Cooper's Reply to Allan Ramsay. 

I STOPPED in the entrance of the stable, if indeed a place be 
entitled to that name where horses were stowed away along with 
goats, poultry, pigs, and cows, under the same roof with the man- 
sion-house ; although, by a degree of refinement unknown to the 
rest of the hamlet, and which I afterwards heard was imputed to an 
overpride on the part of Jeanie MacAlpine, our landlady, the apart- 
ment was accommodated with an entrance different from that used 
by her biped customers. By the light of my torch, I deciphered 
the following billet, written on a wet, crumpled, and dirty piece of 

278 ROB ROY. 

paper, and addressed, " For the honoured hands of Mr. F. O., a 
Saxon young gentleman— These." The contents were as follows : 

" Sir,— There are night-hawks abroad, so that I cannot give you 
and my respected kinsman, B. N. J., the meeting at the Clachan of 
Aberfoil, whilk jvas my purpose. I pray you to avoid unnecessary 
communication with those you may find there, as it may give 
future trouble. The person who gives you this is faithful, and may 
be trusted, and will guide you to a place where, God willing, I may 
safely give you the meeting, when I trust my kinsman and you will 
visit my poor house, where, in despite of my enemies, I can still 
promise sic cheer as ane Highlandman may gie his friends, and 
where we will drink a solemn health to a certain D. V.,and look to 
certain affairs whilk I hope to be your aidance in ; and I rest, as is 
wont among gentlemen, your servant to command, 

R. M. C." 

I was a good deal mortified at the purport of this letter, which 
seemed to adjourn to a more distant place and date the service 
which I had hoped to receive from this man Campbell. Still, how- 
ever, it was some comfort to know that he continued to be in my 
interest, since without him I could have no hope of recovering my 
father's papers. I resolved, therefore, to obey his instructions ; 
and, observing all caution before the guests, to take the first good 
opportunity I could find to procure from the landlady directions 
how I was to obtain a meeting with this mysterious person. 

My next business was to seek out Andrew Fairservice, whom I 
called several times by name, without receiving any answer, survey- 
ing the stable all round, at the same time, not without risk of setting 
the premises on fire, had not the quantity of wet litter and mud so ' 
greatly counterbalanced two or three bunches of straw and hay. 
At length my repeated cries of " Andrew Fairservice ! — Andrew ! 
fool!— Ass! where are you?" produced a doleful "Here," in a 
groaning tone, which might have been that of the Browijie itself. 
Guided by this sound, I advanced to the corner of a shed, where, 
ensconced in the angle of the wall, behind a barrel full of the 
feathers of all the fowls which had died in the cause of the public 
for a month past, I found the manful Andrew ; and partly by force, 
partly by command and exhortation, compelled him forth into the 
open air. The first words he spoke were, " I am an honest lad, 

" Who the devil questions your honesty?" said I ; "or what have 
we to do with it at present ? I desire you to come and attend us at 

" Yes," reiterated Andrew, without apparently understanding 
■what I said to him, " I am an honest lad, whatever the Bailie may 

ROB ROY. 379 

say to the contrary. I grant the warld and the warld's gear sits 
ower near my heart whiles, as it does to mony a ane — But I am an 
honest lad ; and, though I spak o' leaving ye in the muir, yet God 
knows it was far frae my purpose, but just like idle things folk says, 
when they 're driving a bargain, to get it as far to their ain side as 
they can — And I like your honour weel for sae young a lad, and I 
wadna part wi' ye lightly." 

" What the deuce are you driving at now ? " I replied. " Has not 
everything been settled again and again to your satisfaction ? And 
are yoi to talk of leaving me every hour, without either rhyme or 
reason ? " 

" Ay, but I was only making fashion before," replied Andrew ; 
" but it's come, on me in sair earnest now — Lose or win, I daur 
gae nae farther wi' your honour ; and if ye '11 tak my foolish advice, 
ye '11 bide by a broken tryste, rather than gang forward yoursell — I 
hae a sincere regard for ye, and I 'm sure ye '11 be a credit to your 
friends if ye live to saw out your wild aits, and get some mair sense 
and steadiness — But I can follow ye nae farther, even if ye suld 
founder and perish from the way for lack of guidance and counsel — 
To gang iato Rob Roy's country is a mere tempting o' Providence." 

" Rob Roy?" said I, in some surprise ; " I know no such person. 
What a new trick is this, Andrew ? " 

" It 's bard," said Andrew — " very hard, that a man canna be 
believed when he speaks Heaven's truth, just because he 's whiles 
overcome, and tells lees a little when there is necessary occasion. 
Ye needna ask whae Rob Roy is, the reiving lifter that he is — God 
forgie me ! I hope naebody hears us — 'when ye hae a letter frae him 
in your pouch. I heard ane o' his gillies bid that auld rudas jaud of 
a gudewife gie ye that. They thought I dinna understand their 
gibberish : but, though I canna speak it muckle, I can gie a gude 
guess at what I hear them say — I never thought to hae tauld ye 
that, but in a fright a' things come out that suld be keepit in. O 
Maister Frank ! a' your uncle's follies, and a' your cousins' pliskies, 
were naething to this ! — Drink clean cap-out, like Sir Hildebrand ; 
begin the blessed morning with brandy sops, like Squire Percy ; 
swagger, like Squire Thorncliff ; rin wud amang the lasses, like 
Squire John ; gamble, like Richard ; win souls to the pope and 
the deevil, like Rashleigh ; rive, rant, break the Sabbath, and do 
the pope's bidding, like them a' put thegither — But, merciful Provi- 
dence ! take care o' your young bluid, and gang nae near Rob 
Roy ! " 

Andrew's alarm was too sincere to permit me to suppose he 
counterfeited. I contented myself, however, with telling him that 
I meant to remain in the alehouse that night, and desired to have 

28o ROB ROY. 

the horses well looked after. As to the rest, I charged him to 
observe the strictest silence upon the subject of his alarm, and he 
might rely upon it I would not incur any serious danger without 
, due precaution. He followed me with a dejected air into the house, 
observing between his teeth, " Man suld be served afore beast — I 
haena had a morsel in my mouth, but: the rough legs o' tha^ auld 
muircock, this haill blessed day." 

The harmony of the company seemed to have suffered some in- 
terruption since my departure, for I found Mr. Galbraith and my 
friend the Bailie high in dispute. / 

" I'll hear nae sic language," said Mr. Jarvie, as I entere/d, " re- 
specting the Duke o' Argyle and the name o' Campbell. iHe's a 
^worthy public-spirited nobleman, and a credit to the countiy, and a 
friend and benefactor to the trade o' Glasgow." 

" I '11 sae naething against MacCallum More and the Slioch-nan- 
Diarmid," said the lesser Highlander, laughing. " I li\^ on the 
wrang side of Glencroe to quarrel with Inverara." 

" Our loch ne'er saw the Cawmill lymphads," * said :he bigger 
Highlander. "She '11 speak her mind and fear naebody— She 
doesna value a Cawmil mair as a Cowan, and ye may tell Mac- 
Callum More that Allan Iverach said sae — It's a far cry to 
Lochow." * 

Mr. Galbraith, on whom the repeated pledges which he had 
quaffed had produced some influence, slapped his haijid on the 
table with gi-eat force, and said, in a stern voice, " There's a bloody 
debt due by that family, and they will pay it one day — The banes of 
a loyal and a gallant Grahame hae lang rattled in their coffin for ven- 
geance on thae Dukes of Guile and Lords for Lorn. There ne'er 
was treason in Scotland but a Cawmil was at the bottom o't ; and 
now that the wrang side 's uppermost, wha but the Cawmils for 
keeping down the right ? But this warld winna last lang, and it 
will be time to sharp the maiden* for shearing o' craigs and 
thrapples. I hope to see the auld rusty lass linking at a bluidy 
harst again." 

" For shame, Garschattachin ! " exclaimed the Bailie ; " fy for 
shame, sir ! Wad ye say sic things before a magistrate, and bring; 
yoursell into trouble ? — How d'ye think to mainteen your family, 
and satisfy your creditors (mysell and others}, if ye gang on in that 
wild way, which cannot but bring you under the law, to the preju- 
dice of a' that 's connected wi' ye ? " 

" D — n my creditors ! " retorted the gallant Galbraith, " and you, 
if ye be ane o' them ! I say there will be a new warld sune — And we 
shall hae nae Cawmils cocking their bonnet sae hie, and hounding 
their dogs where they dauma come themsells, nor protecting 

ROB ROY. 28l 

thieves nor murderers, and oppressors, to harry and spoil better 
men and mair loyal clans than themsells." 

The Bailie had a great mind to have continued the dispute, when 
the savoury vapour of the broiled venison, which our landlady now 
placed before us, proved so powerful a mediator, that he betook 
himself to his trencher with great eagerness, leaving the strangers 
to carry on the dispute among themselves. 

"And tat's true," said the taller Highlander, whose name I 
found was Stewart, " for we suldna be plagued and worried here 
wi' meetings to pit down Rob Roy, if the Cawmils didna gie him 
refutch. I was ane o' thirty o' my ain name — part Glenfinlas, 
and part men that came down frae Appine. We shased the 
MacGx-egors as ye wad shase rae-deer, till we came into Glen- 
falloch's country, and the Cawmils raise, and wadna let us pur- 
' sue nae farder, and sae we lost our labour ; but her wad gie twa 
and a plack to be as near Rob as she was tat day." 

It seemed to happen very unfortunately, that in every topic of 
discourse which these warlike gentlemen introduced, my friend the 
Bailie found some matter of offence. "Ye'll forgie me speaking 
my mind, sir ; but ye wad maybe hae gien the best bowl in your 
bonnet to hae been as far awa frae Rob as ye are e'en now — ■ 
Od ! my het pleugh-culter wad hae been naething to his 

" She had better speak nae mair about her culter, or, by G — ! 
her will gar her eat her words, and twa handfuls o' cauld steel to 
drive them ower wi' ! " And, with a most inauspicious and me- 
nacing look, the mountaineer laid his hand on his dagger. 

" We'll hae nae quarrelling, Allan," said his shorter companion ; 
" and if the Glasgow gentleman has ony regard for Rob Roy, he'll 
maybe see him in cauld irons the nicht, and playing tricks on a 
tow the morn ; for this country has been ower lang plagued wi' 
him, and his race is near-hand o'er — And it's time, Allan, we were 
ganging to our lads." 

" Hout awa, Inverashalloch," said Galbraith ; " mind the auld 
saw, man — ^It's a bauld moon, quoth Bennygask — another pint, 
quoth Lesley — we'll no start for another chappin." 

" I hae had chappins eneugh," said Inverashalloch ; " I'll drink 
my quart of usquebaugh or brandy wi' ony honest fellow, but the 
deil a drap mair, when I hae wark to do in the morning. And, 
in my puir thinking, Garschattachin, ye had better be thinking to 
bring up your horsemen to the Clachan before day, that we may a' 
start fair." 

" What the deevil are ye in sic 'a hurry for ? " said Garschatta- 
chin ; " meat and mass never hindered wark. An it had been my 

283 ROB ROY. 

directing, deil a bit o' me wad hae fashed ye to come down the glens 
to help us. The garrison and our ain horse could hae taen Rob 
Roy easily eneugh. There's the hand," he said, holding up his 
own,^" should lay him on the green, and never ask a Hielandman 
o' ye a' for his help." 

" Ye might hae loot us bide still where we were, then,'' said Invera- 
shalloch. " I dinna come sixty miles without being sent for. But 
an ye'll hae my opinion, I redd ye keep your mouth better steekit, 
if ye hope to speed. Shored folk live lang, and sae may him ye 
ken o'. The way to catch a bird is no to fling your bannet at her. 
And also thae gentlemen hae heard some things they suldna hae 
heard an the brandy hadna been ower bauld for your brain. Major 
Galbraith. — Ye needna cock your hat and bully wi' me, man, for I 
will not bear it." 

" I hae said it," said Galbraith, with a solemn air of drunken 
gravity, " that I will quarrel no more this night either with broad- 
cloth or tartan. WJien I am off duty, I'U quarrel with you or ony 
xnan in the Hielands or Lowlands, but not on duty — no — no. I 
wish we heard o' these red-coats. — If it had been to do onything 
against King James, we wad hae seen them lang syne — but when 
it's to keep the peace o' the country, they can lie as loun as their 

As he spoke, we heard the measured footsteps of a body of in- 
fantry on the march ; and an officer, followed by two or three files 
of soldiers, entered the apartment. He spoke in an English accent, 
which was very pleasant to my ears, now so long accustomed to the 
varying brogue of the Highland and Lowland Scotch. 

"You are, I suppose, Major Galbraith, of the squadron of Lennox 
Militia, and these are the two Highland gentlemen with whom I 
was appointed to meet in this place ?" 

They assented, and invited the officer to take some refreshments, 
which he declined. 

" I have been too late, gentlemen, and am desirous to make up 
time. 1 have orders to search for and arrest two persons guilty 
of treasonable practices." 

" We'll wash our hands o' that," said Inverashalloch. " I came ■ 
here wi' my men to fight against the red Mac-Gregor that killed my 
cousin seven times removed, Duncan MacLaren in Invernenty ; * 
but I will hae nothing to do touching honest gentlemen that may 
be gaun through the country on their ain business." 

" Nor I neither," said Iverach. 

Major Galbraith took up the matter more solemnly, and pre- 
mising his oration with a hiccup, spoke to the following purpose : 

" I shall say nothing against King George, Captain, because, as 

ROB ROY. 283 

it happens, my commission may rin in his name — But one commis- 
sion being good, sir, does not make another bad ; and some tliink 
tliat James may be just as good a name as George. There's the 
king that is — and there's the king that suld of right be — I say, an 
honest man may and suld be loyal to them both, Captain. — But I 
am of the Lord- Lieutenant's opinion for the time, as it becomes 
a militia officer and a depute-lieutenant, — and about treason and 
all that, it's lost time to speak of it — least said is sunest mended." 

" I am sorry to see how you have been employing your time, sir," 
replied the English officer,— as indeed the honest gentleman's 
reasoning had a strong relish of the liquor he had been drinking, — 
"and I could wish, sir, it had been otherwise on an occasion of this 
consequence. I would recommend to you to try to sleep for an 
hour. — Do these gentlemen belong to your party ?" — looking at the 
Bailie and me, who, engaged in eating our supper, had paid little 
attention to the officer on his entrance. 

" Travellers, sir," said Galbraith — " lawful travellers by sea and 
land, as the prayer-book hath it." 

" My instructions," said the Captain, taking a light to survey us 
closer, " are to place under arrest an elderly and a young person, 
and I think these gentlemen answer nearly the description." 

" Take care what you say, sir," said Mr. Jarvie ; " it shall not be 
your red coat nor your laced hat shall protect you, if you put any 
affront on me. I'se convene ye baith in an action of scandal and 
false imprisonment — I am a free burgess and a magistrate o' 
Glasgow ; Nicol Jarvie is my name, sae was my father's afore me 
— I am a baihe, be praised for the honour, and my father was a 

" He was a prick-eared cur," said Major Galbraith, " and fought 
agane the King at Bothwell Brigg." 

" He paid what he ought and what he bought. My. Galbraith,'' 
said the Bailie, " and was an honester man than ever stude on your 

" I have no time to attend to all this,", said the officer ; " I must 
positively detain you, gentlemen, unless you can produce some 
respectable security that you are loyal subjects." 

" I desire to be carried before some civil magistrate," said the 
Bailie — " the sherra or the judge of the bounds ; — I am not obliged 
to answer every red-coat that speers questions at me." 

" Well, sir, I shall know how to manage you if you are silent — 
And you, sir " (to me), " what may your name be ? " 

" Francis Osbaldistone, sir." 

" What, a son of Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, of Northumber- 

284 ROB ROY. 

" No, sir," interrupted the Bailie ; " a son of the great William 
Osbaldistone, of the House of Osbaldistone and Tresham, Crane- 
Alley, London." 

" I am afraid, sir," said the officer, " your name only increases 
the suspicions against you, and lays me under the necessity of re- 
questing that you will give up what papers you have in charge." 

I observed the Highlanders look anxiously at each other when 
this proposal was made. " I had none," I replied, " to surrender." 

The officer commanded me to be disarmed and searched. To 
have resisted would have been madness. I accordingly gave up 
my arms, and submitted to a search, which was conducted as 
civilly as an operation of the kind well could. They found nothing 
except the note which I had received that night through the hand 
of the landlady. 

" This is different from what I expected," said the officer ; " but it 
affords us good grounds for detaining you. Here I find you in written 
communication with the outlawed robber, Robert MacGregor 
Campbell, who has been so long the plague of this district — How 
do you account for that ? " 

" Spies of Rob ! " said Inverashalloch — " we wad serve them 
right to strap them up till the neist tree." 

" We are gaun to see after some gear o' our ain, gentlemen," 
said the Bailie, " that's fa'en into his hands by accident — there's 
nae law agane a man looking after his ain, I hope ? " 

" How did you come by this letter ? " said the officer, addressing 
himself to me. 

I could not think of betraying the poor woman who had given 
it to me, and remained silent. 

"Do you know anything of it, fellow ? " said the officer, looking at 
Andrew, whose jaws were chattering like a pair of castanets at the 
threats thrown out by the Highlander. 

" O ay, I ken a' about it — it was a Hieland loon gied the letter 
to that lang-tongued jaud the gudewife there — I'll be sworn my 
maister ken'd naething about it. But he's wilfu' to gang up the 
hills and speak wi' Rob ; and O, sir, it wad be a charity just to send 
a wheen o' your red-coats to see him safe back to Glasgow again 
whether he will or no — And ye can keep Mr. Jarvie as lang as ye 
like — He's responsible eneugh for ony fine ye may lay on him — and 
so 's my master for that matter — for me, I'm just a puir gardener 
lad, and no worth your steering." 

" I believe," said the officer, " the best thing I can do is to send 
these persons to the garrison under an escort. They seem to be in 
immediate correspondence with the enemy, and I shall be in no 
respect answerable for suffering them to be at liberty. — Gentlemen, 

ROB ROY. 285 

you will consider yourselves as my prisoners. So soon as dawn 
approaches, I will send you to a place of security. If you be the 
persons you describe yourselves, it will soon appear, and you will 
sustain no great inconvenience from being detained a day or two. 
— I can hear no remonstrances," he continued, turning away from 
the Bailie, whose mouth was open to address him ; " the service I 
am on gives me no time for idle discussions." 

"Aweel — aweel, sir," said the Bailie, "you're welcome to a tune 
on your ain fiddle ; but see if I dinna gar ye dance till't afore a's 

An anxious consultation now took place between the officer and 
the Highlanders, but carried on in so low a tone, that it was im- 
possible to catch the sense. So soon as it was concluded they all 
left the house. At theif departure, the Bailie thus expressed himself : 
"ThaeHielandmen are o' the westland clans, and just as light-handed 
as their neighbours, an a' tales be truej and yet ye see they 
hae brought them frae the head o' Argyleshire to make war wi' puir 
Rob for some auld ill-will that they hae at him and his sirname. 
— And there's the Grahames, and the Buchanans, and the Lennox 
gentry, a' mounted and in order — It's weel ken'd their quarrel — ■ 
and I dinna blame them — naebody likes to lose his kye — And then 
there's sodgers, puir things, hoyed out frae the garrison at a' 
body's bidding — Puir Rob will hae his hands fu' by the time the 
sun comes ower the hill. Weel — it's wrang for a magistrate to 
be wishing onything again the course o' justice, but deil o' me 
an I wad break my heart to hear that Rob had gien them a' their 
paiks ! " 


• General, 

Hear me, and mark me well, and look upon me 
Directly in my face — my woman's face — 
See if one fear, one shadow of a terror, 
One paleness dare appear, but from my anger. 
To lay hold on your mercies. 


We were permitted to slumber out the remainder of the night 
in the best manner that the miserable accommodations of the 
alehouse permitted. The Baihe, fatigued with his journey and the 
subsequent scenes, less interested also in the event of our arrest, 
which to him could only be a matter of temporary inconvenience, 
perhaps less nice than habit had rendered me about the cleanli- 
ness or decency of his couch, tumbled himself into one of the 

286 ROB ROY. 

cribs which I have already described^ and soon was heard to snore 
soundly. A broken sleep, snatched by intervals, while I rested my 
head upon the table, was my only refreshment. In the course of 
the night I had occasion to observe, that there seemed to be 
some doubt and hesitation in the motions of the soldiery. Men 
were sent out, as if to obtain intelHgence, and returned apparently 
without bringing any satisfactory information to their command- 
ing officer. He was obviously eager and anxious, and again dis- 
patched small parties of two or three men, some of whom, as I 
could understand from what the others whispered to each other, 
did not return again to the Clachan. 

The morning had broken, when a corporal and two men rushed 
into the hut, dragging after them, in a sort of triumph, a Highlander, 
whom I immediately recognised as my acquaintance the ex-turnkey. 
The Bailie, who started up at the noise with which they entered, 
immediately made the same discovery, and exclaimed, " Mercy on 
us ! they hae grippit the puir creature Dougal. — Captain, I will put 
in bail — sufficient bail, for that Dougal creature." 

To this offer, dictated undoubtedly by a grateful recollection of 
the late interference of the Highlander in his behalf, the Captain 
only answered by requesting Mr. Jarvie to " mind his own affairs, 
and remember that he was himself for the present a prisoner." 

" I take you to witness, Mr. Osbaldistone," said the Bailie, who 
was probably better acquainted with the process in civil than in 
military cases, " that he has refused sufficient bail. It's my opinion, 
that the creature Dougal will have a good action of wrongous im- 
prisonment and damages agane him, under the Act seventeen hun- 
dred and one, and I'll see the creature righted." 

The officer, whose name I understood was Thornton, paying no 
attention to the Bailie's threats or expostulations, instituted a very 
close inquiry into Dougal's life and conversation, and compelled 
him to admit, though with apparent reluctance, the successive facts, 
— that he knew Rob Roy MacGregor — that he had seen him within 
these twelve months— within these six months — within this month 
— within this week ; in fine, that he had parted from him only an 
hour ago. All this detail came like drops of blood from the 
prisoner, and was, to a,ll appearance, only extorted by the threat of 
an halter and the next tree, which Captain Thornton assured him 
should be his doom, if he did not give direct and special infor- 

"And. now, my friend," said the officer, "you will please inform 
me how many men your master has with him at present." 

Dougal looked in every direction except at the querist, and began 
to answer, " She canna just be sure about that." 

ROB ROY. 287 

" Look at me, you Highland dog,'' said the officer, " and remem- 
ber your life depends on your answer. How many rogues had that 
outlawed scoundrel with him when you left him ? " 

" Ou, no aboon sax rogues when I was gane." 

"And where are the rest of his banditti ? " 

" Gane wi' the Lieutenant agane ta westland carles." 

" Against the westland clans ? " said the Captain. " Umph — 
that is likely enough ; and what rogue's errand were you dispatched 
upon ? " 

" Just to see what your honour and ta gentlemen red-coats were 
doing doun here at ta Clachan." 

" The creature will prove fause-hearted, after a'," said the Bailie, 
who by this time had planted himself close behind me ; " it's lucky 
I didna pit mysell to expenses anent him." 

" And now, my friend," said the Captain, " let us understand each 
other. You have confessed yourself a spy, and should string up to 
the next tree — but come, if you will do me one good turn, I will do 
you another. You, Donald — you shall just, in the way of kindness, 
carry me and a small party to the place where you left your master, 
as I wish f o speak a few words with him on serious affairs ; and 
I'll let you go about your business, and give you five guineas to 

" Oigh ! oigh ! " exclaimed Dougal, in the extremity of distress 
and perplexity ; " she canna do tat — she canna do tat — she'll rather 
be hanged." 

" Hanged, then, you shall be, my friend," said the officer ; " and 
your blood be upon your own head; — Corporal Cramp, do you play 
Provost-Marshal — away with him ! " 

The corporal had confronted poor Dougal for some time, ostenta- 
tiously twisting a piece of cord which he had found in the house 
into the form of a halter. He now threw it about the culprit's 
neck, and, with the assistance of two soldiers, had dragged Dougal 
as far as the door, when,, overcome with the terror of immediate 
death, he exclaimed, " Shentlemans, stops— stops ! — she'll do his 
honour's bidding— stops ! " 

" Awa wi' the creature ! " said the Bailie, " he deserves hanging 
mair now than ever — awa wi' him, corporal, — why dinna ye tak 
him awa ? " 

" It's my belief and opinion, honest gentlem^," said the corporal, 
" that if you were going to be hanged yourself, you would be in no 
such d — d hurry." 

This by-dialogue prevented my hearing what passed between the 
prisoner and Captain Thornton; but I heard the former snivel 
out, in a very subdued tojie, "And ye'U ask her to gang nae 

288 ROB ROY. 

farther than just to show ye where the MacGregor is ? — Ohon ! 

" Silence your howhng, you rascal ! — No ; I give you my word 
I will ask you to go no farther. — Corporal, make the men fall in, in 
front of the houses. Get out these gentlemen's horses ; we must 
carry them with us. I cannot spare any men to guard them here. 
— Come, my lads, get under arms." 

The soldiers bustled about, and were ready to move. We were 
led out, along with Dougal, in the capacity of prisoners. As we 
left the hut, I heard our companion in captivity remind the Captain 
of " ta foive kuineas." 

" Here they are for you," said the officer, putting gold into his 
hand ; " but observe, that if you attempt to mislead me, I will blow 
your brains out with my own hand." 

"The creature," said the Bailie, "is waur than I judged him — it 
is a warldly and a perfidious creature. — O the filthy lucre of gain 
that men gies themselves up to ! My father the deacon used to 
say, the penny siller slew mair souls than the naked sword slew 

The landlady now approached, and demanded payment of her 
reckoning, including all that had been quaffed by Major Galbraith 
and his Highland friends. The English officer remonstrated, but 
Mrs. MacAlpine declared, if she " hadna trusted to his honour's 
name being used in their company, she wad never hae drawn them 
a stoup o' liquor ; for Mr. Galbraith, she might see him again, or 
she might no, but weel did she wot she had sma' chance of seeing 
her siller — and she was a puir widow, had naething but her custom 
to rely on." 

Captain Thornton put a stop to her remonstrances by paying the 
charge, which was only a few English shillings, though the amount 
sounded very formidable in Scottish denominations. The generous 
officer would have included Mr. Jarvie and me in this general 
acquittance ; but the Bailie, disregarding an intimation from the 
landlady to " make as muckle of the Inglishers as we could, for they 
were sure to gie us plague eneugh," went into a formal accounting 
respecting our share of the reckoning, and paid it accordingly. 
The Captain took the opportunity to make us some slight apology 
for detaining us. " If we were loyal and peaceable subjects," he 
said, "we would not regret being stopt for a day, when it was 
essential to the king's service ; if otherwise, he was acting accord- 
ing to his duty." 

We were compelled to accept an apology which it would have 
served no purpose to refuse, and we sallied out to attend him on 
his march. 

ROB ROY. 289 

I shall never forget the delightful sensation with which I ex- 
changed the dark, smoky, smothering atmosphere of the Highland 
hut, in which we had passed the night so uncomfortably, for the 
refreshing fragrance of the morning air, and the glorious beams of 
the rising sun, which, from a tabernacle of purple and golden 
clouds, were darted full on such a scene of natural romance and 
beauty as had never before greeted my eyes. To the left lay the 
valley, down which the Forth wandered on its easterly course, sur- 
rounding the beautiful detached hill, with all its garland of woods. 
On the right, amid a profusion of thickets, knolls, and crags, lay 
the bed of a broad mountain lake, lightly curled into tiny waves by 
the breath of the morning breeze, each glittering in its course under 
the influence of the sunbeams. High hills, rocks, and banks, wav- 
ing with natural forests of birch and oak, formed the borders of this 
enchanting sheet of water ; and, as their leaves rustled to the wind 
and twinkled in the sun, gave to the depth of solitude a sort of life 
and vivacity. Man alone seemed to be placed in a state of inferio- 
rity, in a scene where all the ordinary features of nature were raised 
and exalted. The miserable little bourocks, as the Bailie termed 
them, of which about a dozen formed the village called the Clachan 
of Aberfoil, were composed of loose stones, cemented by clay in- 
stead of mortar, and thatched by turfs, laid rudely upon rafters 
formed of native and unhewn birches and oaks from the woods 
around. The roofs approached the ground so nearly, that Andrew 
Fairservice observed we might have ridden over the village the 
night before, and never found out we were near it, unless our horses 
feet had " gane through the riggin'." 

From all we could see, Mrs. MacAlpine's house, miserable as 
were the quarters it afforded, was still by far the best in the hamlet ; 
and I dare say (if my description gives you any curiosity to see it) 
you will hardly find it much improved at the present day, for the 
Scotch are not a people who speedily admit innovation, even when 
it comes in the shape of improvement.* 

The inhabitants of these miserable dwellings were disturbed by 
the noise of our departure ; and as our party of about twenty soldiers 
drew up in rank before marching off, we were reconnoitred by many 
a beldam from the half-opened door of her cottage. As these sibyls 
thrust forth their grey heads, imperfectly covered with close caps of 
flannel, and showed their shrivelled brows and long skinny arms, 
with various gestures, shrugs, and muttered expressions in Gaelic 
addressed to each other, my imagination recurred to the witches of 
Macbeth, and I imagined I read in the features of these crones the 
malevolence of the weird sisters. The little children also, who 
began to crawl forth, some quite naked, and others very imperfectly 


290 ROB ROY. 

covered with tatters of tartan stuff, clapped their tiny hands, and 
grinned at the English soldiers, with an expression of national hate 
and malignity which seemed beyond their years. I remarked par- 
ticularly that there were no men, nor so much as a boy of ten or 
twelve years old, to be seen among the inhabitants of a village 
which seemed populous in proportion to its extent ; and the idea " 
certainly occurred to me, that we were likely to receive from them, 
in the course of our journey, more effectual tokens of ill-will than 
those which lowered on the visages, and dictated the murmurs, of 
the women and children. 

It was not until we commenced our march that the malignity of 
the elder persons of the community broke forth into expressions. 
The last file of men had left the village, to pursue a small broken 
track, formed by the sledges in which the natives transported their 
peats and turfs, and which led through the woods that fringed the 
lower end of the lake, when a shrilly sound of female exclamation 
broke forth, mixed with the screams of children, the hooping of 
boys, and the clapping of hands with which the Highland 
dames enforce their notes, whether of rage or lamentation. I 
asked Andrew, who looked as pale as death, what all this 

" I doubt we'll ken that ower sune," said he. " Means ? — it 
means that the Hieland wives are cursing and banning the red- 
coats, — and wishing ill-luck to them, and ilka ane that ever spoke 
the Saxon tongue. I have heard wives flyte in England and Scot- 
land' — it's nae marvel to hear them ilyte ony gate — but sic ill-scrapit 
tongues as thae Hieland carlines' — and sic grewsome wishes, that 
men should be slaughtered like sheep — and that they may lapper 
their hands to the elbows in their hearts' blude — and that they suld 
dee the death of Walter Cuming of Guiyock,* wha hadna as muckle 
o' him left thegither as would supper a messan-dog — sic awsome 
language as that I ne'er heard out o' a human thrapple ; — and, 
unless the deil wad rise amang them to gie them a lesson, I 
thinkna that their talent at cursing could be amended. The 
warst o't is, they bid us aye gang up the loch, and see what we'll 
land in." 

Adding Andrew's information to what I had myself observed, I 
could, scarce doubt that some attack was meditated upon our party. 
The road, as we advanced, seemed to afford every facility for such 
an unpleasant interruption. At first it winded apart from the lake 
through marshy meadow ground, overgrown with copsewood, now 
traversing dark and close thickets which would have admitted an 
ambuscade to be sheltered within a few yards of our line of march, 
and frequently crossing rough mountain torrents, some of which 

ROB ROY. 291 

took the soldiers up to the knees, and ran with such violence, that 
their force could only be stemmed by the strength of two or three 
men holding fast by each other's arms. It certainly appeared to 
me, though altogether unacquainted with military affairs, that a 
sort of half-savage warriors, as I had heard the Highlanders 
asserted to be, might, in such passes as these, attack a party of 
regular forces with great advantage. The Bailie's good sense and 
shrewd observation had led him to the same conclusion, as I 
understood from his requesting to speak with the Captam, whom 
he addressed nearly in the following terms : — " Captain, it's no to 
fleech ony favour out o' ye, for I scorn it — and it's under protest 
that I reserve my action and pleas of oppression and wrongous 
imprisonment ; — Ijut, being a friend to King George and his army, 
I take the liberty to speer — Dinna ye think ye might tak a better 
time to gang up this glen ? If ye are seeking Rob Roy, he's ken'd 
to be better than half a hunder men strong when he's at the fewest ; 
and if he brings in the Glengyle folk, and the Glenfinlas and Bal- 
quidder lads, he may come to gie you your kail through the reek ; 
and it!s my sincere advice, as a king's friend, ye had better tak 
back again to the Clachan, for thae women at Aberfoil are like the 
scarts and seamaws at the Cumries, there's aye foul weather follows 
their skirling." 

" Make yourself easy, sir,'' replied Captain Thornton, " I am in 
the execution of my orders. And as you say you are a friend to 
King George, you will be glad to learn that it is impossible that 
this gang of ruffians, whose licence has disturbed the country so 
long, can escape the measures now taken to suppress them. The 
horse squadron of militia, commanded by Major Galbraith, is 
already joined by two or more troops of cavalry, which will occupy 
all the lower passes of this wild country ; three hundred High- 
landers, under the two gentlemen you saw at the inn, are in pos- 
session of the upper part, and various strong parties from the gar- 
rison are securing the hills and glens in different directions. Our 
last accounts of Rob Roy correspond with what this fellow has 
confessed, that, finding himself surrounded on all sides, he had 
dismissed the greater part of his followers, with the purpose either 
of lying concealed, or of making his escape throiigh his superior 
knowledge of the passes." 

" I dinna keA," said the Baihe ; " there's mair brandy than brains 
in Garschattachin's head this morning — And I wadna, an I were 
you, Captain, rest my main dependence on the Hielandmen — 
hawks winna pike out hawks' een. They may quarrel amang 
themsells, and gie ilk ither ill names, and maybe a slash wi' a 
claymore ; but they are sure to join, in the lang run, against a' 

T 2 

292 ROB ROY. 

ceevilized folk, that wear breeks on their hinder ends, and hae 
purses in their pouches." 

Apparently these admonitions were not altogether thrown away 
on Captain Thornton. He reformed his line of march, com- 
manded his soldiers to unsling their firelocks and fix their bayonets, 
and formed an advanced and rear guard, each consisting of a non- 
commissioned officer and two soldiers, who received strict orders 
to keep an alert look out. Dougal underwent another and very 
close examination, in which he steadfastly asserted the truth of 
what he had before affirmed ; and being rebuked on account of the 
suspicious and dangerous appearance of the route by which he was 
guiding them, he answered with a sort of testiness that seemed 
very natural, " Her nainsell didna mak ta 'road — an shentlemans 
likit grand roads, she suld hae pided at Glasco." 

All this passed off well enough, and we resumed our progress. 

Our route, though leading towards the lake, had hitherto been so 
much shaded by wood, that we only from time to time obtained a 
glimpse of that beautiful sheet of water. But the road now sud- 
denly emerged from the forest ground, and, winding close by the 
margin of the loch, afforded us a full view of its spacious mirror, 
which now, the breeze having totally subsided, reflected in still 
magnificence the high dark heathy mountains, huge grey rocks, 
and shaggy banks, by which it is encircled. The hills now sunk 
on its margin so closely, and were so broken and precipitous, as to 
afford no passage except just upon the narrow line of the track 
which we occupied, and which was overhung with rocks, from 
which we might have been destroyed merely by rolling down 
stones, without much possibility of offering resistance. Add to 
this, that, as the road winded round every promontory and bay 
which indented the lake, there was rarely a possibility of seeing a 
hundred yards before us. Our commander appeared to take some 
alarm at the nature of the pass in which he was engaged, which 
displayed itself in repeated orders to his soldiers to be on the alert, 
and in many threats of instant death to Dougal, if he should be 
found to have led them into danger. Dougal received these threats 
with an air of stupid impenetrability, which might arise either from 
conscious innocence or from dogged resolution. 

" If shentlemans were seeking ta Red Gregarach," he said, " to 
be sure they couldna expect to find her without some wee danger." 

Just as the Highlander uttered these words, a halt was made by 
the corporal commanding the advance, who sent back one of the 
file who formed it, to tell the Captain that the path in front was 
occupied by Highlanders, stationed on a commanding point of 
particular difficulty. Almost at the same instsiat a soldier from the 

ROB ROY. 293 

rear came to say, that they heard the sound of a bagpipe in the 
woods through which we had just passed. Captain Thornton, a 
man of conduct as well as courage, instantly resolved to force 
the pass in front, without waiting till he was assailed from the 
rear ; and, assuring his soldiers that the bagpipes which they heard 
were those of the friendly Highlanders who were advancing to 
their assistance, he stated to them the importance of advancing 
and securing Rob Roy, if possible, before these auxiharies should 
come up to divide with them the honour, as well as the reward 
which was placed on the head of this celebrated freebooter. He 
therefore ordered the rear-guard to join the centre, and both to 
close up to the advance, doubling his files, so as to occupy with 
his column the whole practicable part of the road, and to present 
such a front as its breadth admitted. Dougal, to whom he said 
in a whisper, " You dog, if you have deceived me, you shall die 
for it ! " was placed in the centre, between two grenadiers, with 
positive orders to shoot him if he attempted an escape. The same 
situation was assigned to us, as being the safest, and Captain 
Thornton, taking his half-pike from the soldier who carried it, 
placed himself at the head of his little detachment, and gave the 
word to march forward. 

The party advanced with the firmness of English soldiers. Not 
so Andrew Fairservice, who was frightened out of his wits ; and 
not so, if truth must be told, either the Bailie or I myself, who, 
without feeling the same degree of trepidation, could not with 
stoical indifference see our lives exposed to hazard in a quarrel 
with which we had no concern. But there was neither time for 
remonstrance nor remedy. 

We approached within about twenty yards of the spot where the 
advanced guard had seen some appearance of an enemy. It was 
one of those promontories which run into the lake, and round the 
base of which the road had hitherto winded in the manner I have 
described. In the present case, however, the path, instead of 
keeping the water's edge, scaled the promontory by one or two 
rapid zigzags, carried in a broken track along the precipitous face 
of a slaty grey rock, which would otherwise have been absolutely 
inaccessible. On the top of this rock, only to be approached by a 
road so broken, so narrow, and so precarious, the corporal declared 
he had seen the bonnets and long-barrelled guns of several moun- 
taineers, apparently couched among the long heath and brushwood 
which crested the eminence. Captain Thornton ordered him to 
move forward with three files, to dislodge the supposed ambuscade, 
while at a more slow but steady pace, he advanced to his support 
with the rest of his party. 

294 ROB ROY. 

The attack which he meditated was prevented by the un- 
expected apparition of a female upon the summit of the rock. 
" Stand ! " she said, with a commanding tone, " and tell me what 
ye seek in MacGregor's country?" 

I have, seldom seen a finer or more commanding form than this 
woman. She might be between the term of forty and fifty years, 
and had a countenance which must once have been of a masculine 
cast of beauty ; though now, imprinted with deep lines by exposure 
to rough weather, and perhaps by the wasting influence of grief 
and passion, its features were only strong, harsh, and expressive. 
She wore her plaid, not drawn around her head and shoulders, as 
is the fashion of the women in Scotland, but disposed around her 
body as the Highland soldiers wear theirs. She had a man's bon- 
net, with a feather in it, an unsheathed sword in her hand, and a 
pair of pistols at her girdle. 

" It's Helen Campbell, Rob's wife," said the Bailie, in a whisper 
of considerable alarm ; " and there will be broken heads amang us 
or it's lang." 

" What seek ye here ? " she asked again of Captain Thornton, 
who had himself advanced to reconnoitre. 

"We seek the "outlaw, Rob Roy Macgregor Campbell," answered 
the officer, " and make no war on women ; therefore offer no vain 
opposition to the king's troops, and assure yourself of civil 

" Ay," retorted the Amazon, " I am no stranger to your tender 
mercies. Ye have left me neither name nor fame — my mother's 
bones will shrink aside in their grave when mine are laid beside 
them — Ye have left me and mine neither house nor hold, blanket 
nor bedding, cattle to feed us, or flocks to clothe us — Ye have taken 
from us all ! — all ! — The very name of our ancestors have ye taken 
away, and now ye come for our lives." 

" I seek no man's life," replied the Captain ; " I only execute my 
orders. If you are alone, good woman, you have nought to fear — 
if there are any with you so rash as to offer useless resistance, their 
own blood be on their own heads. — Move forward, sergeant." 

"Forward — march!" said the non-commissioned officer. "Huzza, 
my boys, for Rob Roy^s head and a purse of gold ! " 

He quickened his' pace into a run, followed by {he six soldiers ; 
but as they attained the first traverse of the ascent, the flash of a 
dozen of fire-locks from various parts of the pass parted in quick 
succession and deliberate aim. The sergeant, shot through the 
body, still struggled to gain the ascent, raised himself by his hands 
to clamber up the face of the rock, but relaxed his grasp, after a 
desperate effort, and falling, rolled from the face of the cliff into 



the deep lake, where he perished. Of the soldiers, three fell, slain 
or disabled ; the others retreated on their main body, all more or 
less wounded. 

" Grenadiers, to the front ! " said Captain Thornton. — You are to 
recollect, that in those days this description of soldiers actually 
carried that destructive species of firework from which they derive 
their name. The four grenadiers moved to the front accordingly. 
The officer commanded the rest of the party to be ready to support 
them, and only saying to us, " Look to your safety, gentlemen," 
gave, in rapid succession, the word to the grenadiers, " Open 
your pouches — handle your grenades — blow your matches — 
fall on." 

The whole advanced with a shout, headed by Captain Thornton, 
the grenadiers preparing to throw their grenades among the bushes 
where the ambuscade lay, and the musketeers to support them by 
an instant and close assault. Dougal, forgotten in the scuffle, 
wisely crept into the thicket which overhung that part of the road 
where we had first halted, which he ascended with the activity of a 
wild cat. I followed his example, instinctively recollecting that the 
fire of the Highlanders would sweep the open track. I clambered 
until out of breath ; for a continued spattering fire, in which every 
shot was multiplied by a thousand echoes, the hissing of the 
kindled fusees of the grenades, and the successive explosion of 
those missiles, mingled with the huzzas of the soldiers, and the 
yells and cries of their Highland antagonists, formed a contrast 
which added — I do not shame to own it — wings to my'desire to 
reach a place of safety. The difficulties of the ascent soon in- 
creased so much that I despaired of reaching Dougal, who seemed 
to "Swing himself from rock to rock, and stump to stump, with the 
facility of a squirrel, and I turned down my eyes to see what had 
become of my other companions. Both were brought to a very 
awkward stand-still. 

The Bailie, to whom I suppose fear had given a temporary share 
of agility, had ascended about twenty feet from the path, when his 
foot slipping, as he straddled from one huge fragment of rock to 
another, he would have slumbered with his father the deacon, whose 
acts and words he was so fond of quoting, but for a projecting 
branch of a ragged thorn, which, catching hold of the skirts of his 
riding-coat, supported him in mid air, where he dangled not un- 
like to the sign of the Golden Fleece over the door of a mercer 
in the Trongate of his native city. 

As for Andrew Fairservice, he had advanced with better success, 
until he had attained the top of a bare cliff, which, rising above the 
wood, exposed him, at least in his own opinion, to all the dangers of 

,296 ROB ROY. 

the neighbouring skirmish, while, at the same time, it was of such a 
precipitous and impracticable nature, that he dared neither to ad- 
vance nor retreat. Footing it up and down upon the narrow space 
which the top of the cliff afforded (very like a fellow at a country-fair 
dancing upon a trencher), he roared for mercy in Gaelic and English 
alternately, according to the side on which the scale of victory seemed 
to predominate, while his exclamations were only answered by the 
groans of the Bailie, who suffered much, not only from apprehen- 
sion, but from the pendulous posture in which he hung suspended 
by the loins. 

On perceiving the Bailie's precarious situation, my first idea was 
to attempt to render hiin assistance ; but this was impossible with- 
out the concurrence of Andrew, whom neither sign, nor entreaty, 
nor command, nor expostulation, could inspire with courage to 
adventure the descent from his painful elevation, where, like an 
unskilful and obnoxious minister of state, unable to escape from the 
eminence to which he had presumptuously ascended, he continued 
to pour forth piteous prayers for mercy, which no one heard, and to 
skip to and fro, writhing his body into all possible antic shapes to 
avoid the balls which he conceived to be whistling around him. 

In a few minutes this cause of terror ceased, for the fire, at first 
so well sustained, now sunk at once, a sure sign that the conflict 
was concluded. To gain some spot from which I could see how 
the day had gone was now ray object, in order to appeal to the 
mercy of the victors, who, I trusted (whichever side might be 
gainers), would not suffer the honest Bailie to remain suspended, 
like the coffin of Mahomet, between heaven and earth, without 
lending a hand to disengage him. ^t length, by dint of scrambling, 
I found a spot which commanded a view of the field of battle. It 
was indeed ended ; and, as my mind already augured, from the 
place and circumstances attending the contest, it had terminated in 
the defeat of Captain Thornton. I saw a party of Highlanders in 
the act of disarming that officer, and the scanty remainder of his 
.party. They consisted of about twelve men, most of whom were 
wounded, who, surrounded by treble their number, and without the 
power either to advance or retreat, exposed to a murderous and 
well-aimed fire, which they had no means of returning with effect, 
had at length laid down their arms by the order of their officer, 
when he saw that the road in his rear was occupied, and that pro- 
tracted resistance would be only wasting the lives of his brave 
followers. By the Highlanders, who fought under cover, the 
victory was cheaply bought, at the expense of one man slain and 
two wounded by the grenades. All this I learned afterwards. At 
present I only comprehended the general result of the day, from 

ROB ROY. 297 

seeing the English officer, whose face was covered with blood, 
stripped of his hat and arms, and his men, with sullen and dejected 
countenances, which marked their deep regret, enduring, from the 
wild and martial figures who surrounded them, the severe measures 
to which the laws of war subject the vanquished for security of the 


" Woe to the vanquish'd ! " was stern Brenno's word, 
When sunk proud Rome beneath the Gallic sword — 
" Woe to the vanquish'd ! " when his massive blade 
Bore down the scale against her ransom weigh'd ; 
And on the field of foughten battle still. 
Woe knows no limits save the victor's will. 

The GauUiad. 

I ANXIOUSLY endeavoured to distinguish Dougal among the 
victors. I had little doubt that the part he had played was assumed, 
on purpose to lead the English officer into the defile, and I could 
not help admiring the address with which the ignorant and 
apparently half-brutal savage had veiled his purpose, and the 
affected reluctance with which he had suffered to be extracted from 
him the false information which it must have been his purpose from 
the beginning to communicate. I foresaw we should incur some 
danger on approaching the victors in the first flush of their success, 
which was not unstained with cruelty ; for one or two of the soldiers, 
whose wounds prevented them from rising, were poniarded by the 
victors, or rather by some ragged Highland boys who had mingled 
with them. I concluded, therefoi-e, it would be unsafe to present 
ourselves without some mediator ; and as Campbell, whom I now 
could not but identify with the celebrated freebooter Rob Roy, was 
nowhere to be seen, I resolved to claim the protection of his 
emissary, Dougal. 

After gazing everywhere in vain, I at length retra'ced my steps to 
see what assistance I could individually render to my unlucky 
friend, when, to my great joy, I saw Mr. Jarvie delivered from his 
state of suspense ; and though very black in the face, and much 
deranged in the garments, safely seated beneath the rock, in front 
of which he had been so lately suspended. I hastened to join him 
and offer my congratulations, which he was at first far from re- 
ceiving in the spirit of cordiality with which they were offered. A 
heavy fit of coughing scarce permitted him breath enough to 
express the broken hints which he threw out against my sincerity. 

" Uh ! uh ! uh ! uh ! — they say a friend — uh ! uh ! — a friend 

sgS ^ ROB ROY. 

sticketh closer than a brither — uh ! uh ! uh ! — When I came up 
here, Maister Osbaldistone, to this country, cursed of God and 
man — uh ! uh ! — Heaven forgie me for swearing — on nae man's 
errand but yours, d'ye think it was fair — uh ! uh ! — to leave me, 
first, to be shot or drowned atween red-wud Highlanders and red- 
coats ; and next, to be hung up between heaven and earth, like an 
auld potato-bogle, without sae muckle as trying — ^uh ! uh ! — sae 
muckle as trying to relieve me ? " 

I made a thousand apologies, and laboured so hard to represent 
the impossibility of affording him relief by my own unassisted exer- 
tions, that at length I succeeded, and the Bailie, who was as placable 
as hasty in his temper, extended his favour to me once more. I 
next took the liberty of asking him how he had contrived to 
extricate himself. 

" Me extricate ! I might hae hung there till the day of judgment 
or I could hae helped mysell, wi' my head hinging down on the tae 
side, and my heels on the tother, like the yarn scales in the weigh- 
house. It was the creature Dougal that extricated me, as he did 
yestreen — ^he cuttit aff the tails o' my coat wi' his durk, and another 
gillie and him set me on my legs as cleverly as if I had never been 
aff them — But to see what a thing gude braid claith is ! — had I 
been in ony o' your rotten French camlets now, or your drab-de- 
berries, it would hae screeded like an auld rag wi' sic a weight as 
mine. — But fair fa' the weaver that wrought the weft o't ! — I swung 
and bobbit yonder as safe as a gabbart* that's moored by a three- 
ply cable at the Broomielaw." 

I now inquired what had become of his preserver. 

" The creature," so he continued to call the Highlandman, " con- 
trived to let me ken there wad be danger in gaun near the leddy till 
he came back, and bade me stay here. — I am o' the mind," he con- 
tinued, " that he's seeking after you — it's a considerate creature — 
and troth, I wad swear he was right about the leddy, as he ca's her, 
too — Helen Campbell was nane o' the maist douce maidens, nor 
meekest wives neither, and folk say that Rob himsell stands in awe 
o' her. I doubt she winna ken me, for it's mony years since we 
met — I am clear for waiting for the Dougal creature or we gang 
near her." 

I signified my acquiescence in this reasoning ; but it was not the 
wiU of fate that day that the Bailie's prudence should profit himself 
or any one else. 

Andrew Fairservice, though he had ceased to caper on the 
pinnacle upon the cessation of the firing, which had given occasion 
for his whimsical exercise, continued, as perched on the top 'of an 
exposed cliff, too conspicuous an object to escape the sharp eyes of 

ROB ROY. 299 

the Highlanders, when they had time to look a little around them. 
We were apprized he was discovered, by a wild and loud halloo set 
up among the assembled victors, three or four of whom instantly 
plunged into the copsewood, and ascended the rocky side of the hill 
in different directions towards the place where they had discovered 
this whimsical apparition. 

Those who arrived first within gunshot of poor Andrew, did not 
trouble themselves to offer him any assistance in the ticklish posture 
of his affairs, but levelling their long Spanish-barrelled guns, gave 
him to-understand by signs which admitted of no misconstruction, 
that he must contrive to come down and submit himself to their 
mercy, or be marked at from beneath, like a regimental target set 
up for ball-practice. With such a formidable hint for venturous 
exertion, Andrew Fairservicp could no longer hesitate ; the more 
imminent peril overcame his sense of that which seemed less in- 
evitable, and he began to descend the cliff at all risks, clutching to 
the ivy and oak stumps, and projecting fragments of rock, with an 
almost feverish anxiety, and never failing, as circumstances left him 
a. hand at liberty, to extend it to the plaided gentry below in an 
attitude of supplication, as if to deprecate the discharge of their 
levelled fire-arms. In a word, the fellow, under the influence of a 
counteracting motive for terror, achieved a safe descent from his 
perilous eminence, which, I verily believe, nothing but the fear of 
instant death could have moved him- to attempt. The awkward 
mode of Andrew's descent greatly amused the Highlanders below, 
who fired a shot or two while he was engaged in it, without the 
purpose of injuring him, as I believe, but merely to enhance the 
amusement they derived from his extreme terror, and the super- 
lative exertions of agility to which it excited him. 

At length he attained firm and comparatively level ground, or 
rather, to speak more correctly, his foot slipping at the last point of 
descent, he fell on the earth at his full length, and was raised by 
the assistance of the Highlanders, who stood to receive him, and 
who, ere he gained his legs, stripped him not only of the whole con- 
tents of his pockets, but of periwig, hat, coat, doublet, stockings, 
and shoes, performing the feat with such admirable celerity, that, 
although he fell on his back a well-clothed and decent burgher- 
seeming serving-man, he arose a forked, uncased, bald-patgd, 
beggarly-looking scarecrow. Without respect to the pain which 
his undefended toes experienced from the sharp encounter of the 
rocks over which they hurried him, those who had detected Andrew 
proceeded to drag him downward towards the road through all the 
intervening obstacles. 

In the course of their descent, Mr. Jarvie and I became exposed 


to their lynx-eyed observation, and instantly half-a-dozen of armed 
Highlanders thronged around us, with drawn dirks and swords 
pointed at our faces and throats, and cocked pistols presented 
against our bodies. To have offered resistance would have been 
madness, especially as we had no weapons capable of supporting 
such a demonstration. We therefore submitted to our fate ; and, 
with great roughness on the part of those who assisted at our toilette, 
were in the act of being reduced to as unsophisticated a state (to use 
King Lear's phrase) as the plumeless biped Andrew Fairservice, 
who stood shivering between fear and cold at a few yards' distance. 
Good chance, however, saved us from this extremity of wretched- 
ness ; for, just as I had yielded up my cravat (a smart Steinkirk, 
by the way, and richly laced), and the Bailie had been disrobed of 
the fragments of his riding-coat — enter Dougal, and the scene was 
changed. By a high tone of expostulation, mixed with oaths and 
threats, as far as I could conjecture the tenor of his language from 
the violence of his gestures, he compelled the plunderers, however 
reluctant, not only to give up their further depredations on our 
property, but to restore the spoil they had already appropriated. 
He snatched my cravat from the fellow who had seized it, and 
twisted it (in the zeal of his restitution) around my neck with such 
suffocating energy as made me think that he had not only been, 
during his residence at Glasgow, a substitute of the jailor, but must 
moreover have taken lessons as an apprentice of the hangman. 
He flung the tattered remnants of Mr. Jarvie's coat around his 
shoulders, and as more Highlanders began to flock towards us from 
the high road, he led the way downwards, directing and command- 
ing the others to afford us, but particularly the Bailie, the assistance 
necessary to our descending with comparative ease and safety. It 
was, however, in vain that Andrew Fairservice employed his lungs 
in obsecrating a share of Dougal's protection, or at least his inter- 
ference to procure restoration, of his shoes. 

" Na, na," said Dougal, in reply, "she's nae gentle body, I trow; 
her petters hae ganged parefoot, or she's muckle mista'en." And, 
leaving Andrew to follow at his leisure, or rather at such leisure as 
the surrounding crowd were pleased to indulge him with, he 
hurried us down to the pathway in which the skirmish had been 
fought, and hastened to present us as additional captives to the 
female leader of his band. 

We were dragged before her accordingly, Dougal fighting, 
struggling, screaming, as if he were the party most apprehensive 
of hurt, and repulsing, by threats and efforts, aU those who 
attempted to take a nearer interest in our capture than he seemed 
to do himself. At length we were placed before the heroine of the 

ROB ROY. 301 

day, whose appearance, as well as those of the savage, uncouth, 
yet martial figures who surrounded us, struck me, to own the truth, 
with considerable apprehension. I do not know if Helen Mac- 
Gregor had personally mingled in the fray, and indeed I was 
afterwards given to understand the contrary ; but the specks of 
blood on her brow, her hands and naked arms, as well as on the 
blade of the sword which she continued to hold in her hand — her 
flushed countenance, and the disordered state of the raven locks 
which escaped from under the red bonnet and plume that formed 
her head-dress, seemed all to intimate that she had taken an imme- 
diate share in the conflict. Her keen black eyes and features ex- 
pressed an imagination inflamed by the pride of gratified revenge 
and the triumph of victory. Yet there was nothing positively 
sanguinary, or cruel, in her deportment ; and she reminded me, 
when the immediate alarm of the interview was over, of some of 
the paintings I had seen of the inspired heroines in the catholic 
churches of France. She was not, indeed, sufficiently beautiful for 
a Judith, nor had she the inspired expression of features which 
painters have given to Deborah, or to the wife of Heber the 
.Kenite, at whose feet the strong oppressor of Israel, who dwelled in 
Harosheth of the Gentiles, bowed down, fell, and lay a dead man. 
Nevertheless, the enthusiasm by which she was agitated, gave her 
countenance and deportment, wildly dignified in themselves, an air 
which made her approach nearly to the ideas of those wonderful 
artists, who gave to the eye the heroines of Scripture history. 

I was uncertain in what terms to accost a personage so un- 
common, when Mr. Jarvie, breaking the ice with a preparatory 
cough (for the speed with which he had been brought into her 
presence had again impeded his respiration), addressed her as 
follows : — " Uh ! uh ! &c. &c. I am very happy to have this joyful 
opportunity" (a quaver in his voice strongly belied the emphasis 
which he studiously laid on the word joyful) — " this joyful occa- 
sion," he resumed, trying to give the adjective a more suitable 
accentuation, "to wish my kinsman Robin's wife a very good 
morning — Uh ! uh ! — How's a' wi' ye " (by this time he had talked 
himself into his usual jog'-trot manner, which exhibited a mixture 
of famiUarity and self-importance) — " How's a' wi' ye this lang 
time ? — ^Ye'll hae forgotten me, Mrs. MacGregor Campbell, as your 
cousin — uh ! uh ! — but ye'll mind my father, Deacon Nicol Jarvie, 
in the Saut Market o' Glasgow ? — an honest man he was, and a 
sponsible, and respectit you and yours — Sae, as I said before, I am 
right glad to see you, Mrs. MacGregor Campbell, as my kinsman's 
wife. I wad crave the liberty of a kinsman to salute you, but that 
your gillies keep such a dolefu' fast haud o' my arms ; and, to 

302 ROB ROY. 

speak Heaven's truth and a magistrate's, ye wadna be the waur of 
a cogfu' o' water before ye welcomed your friends." 

There was something in the familiarity of this introduction 
which ill suited the exalted state of temper of the person to whom 
it was addressed, then busied with distributing dooms of death, 
and warm from conquest in a perilous encounter. 

" What fellow are you," she said, " that dare to claim kindred 
with the MacGregor, and neither wear his dress nor speak his 
language ? — What are you, that have the tongue and the habit of 
the hound, and yet seek to lie down with the deer ?" 

" I dinna ken," said the undaunted Bailie, " if the kindred has 
ever been weel redd out to you yet, cousin — but it's ken'd, and can 
be proved. My mother, Elspeth MacFarlane, was the wife of my 
father, Deacon Nichol Jarvie — peace be wi' them baith! — and 
Elspeth was the daughter of Parlane MacFarlane, at the Sheeling 
o' Loch Sloy. Now, this Parlane MacFarlane, as his surviving 
daughter Maggy MacFarlane, alias MacNab, wha married Duncan 
MacNab o' Stuckavrallachan, can testify, stood as near to your 
gudeman, Robin MacGregor, as in the fourth degree of kindred, 

The virago lopped the genealogical tree, by demanding haughtily, 
" If a stream of rushing water acknowledged any relation with the 
portion withdrawn from it for the mean domestic uses of those who 
dwelt on its banks ?" 

" Vera true, kinswoman," said the BaUie ; " but for a' that, the 
burn wad be glad to hae the milldam back again in simmer, when 
the chuckle stanes are white in the sun. I ken weel eneugh you 
Hieland fold hand us Glasgow people light and cheap for our 
language and our claes ; but everybody ispeaks their native tongue 
that they learned in infancy ; and it would be a daft-like thing to 
see me wi' my fat wame in a short Hieland coat, and my puir short 
houghs gartered below the knee, like ane o' your lang-legged gillies. 
Mair by token, kinswoman," he continued, in defiance of various 
intimations by which Dougal seemed to recommend silence, as 
well as of the marks of impatience which the Amazon evinced at 
his loquacity, " I wad hae ye to mind that the king's errand whiles 
comes in the cadger's gate, and that, for as high as ye may think 
o' the gudeman, as it's right every wife should honour her husband 
— there's Scripture warrant for that — yet as high as ye baud him, 
as I was saying, I hae been serviceable to Rob ere now ; — forbye a 
set o' pearlins I sent yoursell when ye was gaun to be married, and 
when Rob was an honest weel-doing drover, and nane o' this un- 
lawfu' wark, wi' fighting, and flashes, and fluff-gibs, disturbing the 
king's peace and disarming his soldiers." 

ROB ROY. 303 

He had apparently touched on a key which his Icinswoman 
could not brook. She drew herself up to her full height, and 
betrayed the acuteness of her feelings by a laugh of mingled scorn 
and bitterness. 

" Yes," she said, " you, and such as you, might claim a relation 
to us when we stooped to be the paltry wretches fit to exist under 
your dominion, as your hewers of wood and drawers of water — to 
find cattle for your banquets, and subjects for your laws to oppress 
and trample on. — But now we are free — free by the very act which 
left us neither house nor hearth, food nor covering — ^which bereaved 
me of all — of all — and makes me groan when I think I must still 
cumber the earth for other purposes than those of vengeance. And 
I will carry on the work this day has so well commenced, by a deed 
that shall break all bands between MacGregor and the Lowland 
churles. — Here — Allan — Dougal — bind these Sassenachs neck and 
heel together, and throw them into the Highland loch to seek for 
their Highland kinsfolk." 

The Bailie, alarmed at this mandate, was commencing an expos- 
tulation, which probably would have only inflamed the violent 
passions of the person whom he addressed, when Dougal threw 
himself between them, and in his own language, which he spoke 
with a fluency and rapidity strongly contrasted by the slow, im- 
perfect, and idiot-like manner in which he expressed himself in 
English, poured forth what I doubt not was a very animated plead- 
ing in our behalf. 

His mistress replied to him, or rather cut short his harangue, by 
exclaiming in English (as if determined to make us taste in antici- 
pation the full bitterness of death), " Base dog, and son of a dog, 
do you dispute my commands .'' — Should I tell ye to cut out their 
tongues and put them into each other's throats, to try which would 
there best knap Southron, or to tear out their hearts and put them 
into each other's breasts, to see which would there best plot treason 
against the MacGregor- — and such things have been done of old in 
the day of revenge, when our fathers had wrongs to redress — 
Should I command you to do this, would it be your part to dispute 
my orders ? " 

" To be sure, to be sure,'' Dougal repUed, with, accents of pro- 
found submission ; " her pleasure suld be done — tat's but reason ; 
but an it were — tat is, an it could be thought the same to her to 
coup the ill-faured loon of ta red-coat Captain, and hims corporal 
Cramp, and twa three o' the red-coats into the loch, hersell wad 
do 't wi' muckle mair great satisfaction than to hurt ta honest civil 
shentlemans as were friends to the Gregarach, and came up on the 
Chief's assurance, and not to do no treason, as hersell could testify." 

304 ROB ROY. 

The lady was about to reply, when a few wild strains of a pibroch 
were heard advancing up the road from Aberfoil, the same probably 
which had reached the ears of Captain Thornton's rear-guard, and 
determined him to force his way onward rather than return to the 
village, on finding the pass occupied. The skirmish being of very 
short duration, the armed men who followed this martial melody, 
had not, although quickening their march when they heard the 
firing, been able to arrive in time sufficient to take any share in the 
rencontre. Th« victory, therefore, was complete without them, and 
they now arrived only to share in the triumph of their countrymen. 

There was a marked difference betwixt the appearance of these 
new comers and that of the party by which our escort had been 
defeated, and it was greatly in favour of the former. Among the 
Highlanders who surrounded the Chieftainess, if I may presume 
to call her so without offence to grammar, were men in the extre- 
mity of age, boys scarce able to bear a sword, and even women — 
all, in short, whom the last necessity urges to take up arms ; and 
it added a-shade of bitter shame to the dejection which clouded 
Thornton's manly countenance when he found that the numbers 
and position of a foe, otherwise so despicable, had enabled them to 
conquer his brave veterans. But the thirty or forty Highlanders 
who now joined the others, were all men in the prime of youth or 
manhood, active clean-made fellows, whose short hose and belted 
plaids set out their sineviT- limbs to the best advantage. Their 
arms were as superior to those of the first party as their dress and 
appearance. The followers of the female Chief had axes, scythes, 
and other antique weapons, in aid of their guns ; and some had 
only clubs, daggers, and long knives. But of the second party, 
most had pistols at the belt, and almost all had dirks hanging at 
the pouches which they wore in front. Each had a good gun in 
his hand, and a broadsword by his side, besides a stout round 
target, made of light wood, covered with leather, and curiously 
studded with brass, and having a steel pike screwed into the centre. 
These hung on their left shoulder during a march, or while they 
were engaged in exchanging fire with the enemy, and were worn on 
the left arm when they charged with sword in hand. 

But it was easy to see that this chosen band had not arrived 
from a victory such as they found their ill-appointed companions 
possessed of. The pibroch sent forth occasionally a few wailing 
notes expressive of a very different sentiment from triumph ; and 
when they appeared before the wife of their Chieftain, it was in 
silence, and with downcast and melancholy looks. They paused 
when they approached her, and the pipes again sent forth the same 
wild and melancholy strain. 

ROB ROY. 3<>S 

Helen rushed towards them with a countenance in which anger 
was mingled with apprehension. "What means this, Alaster?" 
she said to the minstrel. " Why a lament in the moment of vic- 
tory ? — Robert — Hamish — where's the MacGregor ? — where's your 

Her sons, who led the band, advanced with slow and irresolute 
steps towards her, and murmured a few words in Gaelic, at hearing 
which she set up a shriek that made the rocks ring again, in which 
all the women and boys joined, clapping their hands, and yelling 
as if their lives had been expiring in the sound. The mountain 
echoes, silent since the mihtary sounds of battle had ceased, had 
now to answer these frantic and discordant shrieks of sorrow, 
which drove the very night-birds from their haunts in the rocks, as 
if they were startled to hear orgies more hideous and ill-omened 
than their own, performed in the face of open day. 

"Taken!" repeated Helen, when the clamour had subsided — 
" Taken ! — captive ! — and you live to say so ? — Coward dogs ! did 
I nurse you for this, that you should spare your blood on your 
father's enemies ? or see him prisoner, and come back to tell it ?" 

The sons of MacGregor, to whoni this expostulation was ad- 
dressed, were youths, of whom the eldest had hardly attained his 
twentieth year. Hamish, or James, the elder of these youths, was 
the tallest by a head, and much handsomer than his brother : his 
light-blue eyes, with a profusion of fair hair, which streamed from 
under his smart blue bonnet, made his whole appearance a most 
favourable specimen of the Highland youth. The younger was 
called Robert ; but, to distinguish him from his father, the High- 
landers added the epithet Oig, or the young. Dark hair, and dark 
features, with a ruddy glow of health and animation, and a form 
strong and well-set beyond his years, completed the sketch of the 
young mountaineer. 

Both now stood before their mother with countenances clouded 
with grief and shame, and listened, with the most respectful sub- 
mission, to the reproaches with which she loaded them. At length, 
when her resentment appeared in some degree to subside, the 
eldest, speaking in English, probably that he might not be under- 
stood by their followers, endeavoured respectfully to vindicate him- 
self and his brother from his mother's reproaches. I was so near 
him as to comprehend much of what he said ; and, as it was of 
great consequence to me to be possessed of information in this 
strange crisis, I failed not to listen as attentively as I could. 

" The MacGregor," his son stated, "had been called out upon a 
trysting with a Lowland hallion, who came with a token from " — 
he muttered the name very low, but I thought it sounded like my 

306 ROB ROY. 

own.—" The MacGregor," he said, " accepted of the invitation, but 
commanded the Saxon who brought the message to be detained, 
as a hostage that good faith should be observed to him. Accord- 
ingly he went to the place of appointment " (which had some wild 
Highland name that I cannot remember)," attended only by Angus 
Breck and little Rory, commanding no one to follow him. Within 
half an hour Angus Breck came back with the doleful tidings that 
the MacGregor had been surprised and made prisoner by a party 
of Lennox militia, under Galbraith of Garschattachin." He added, 
" that Galbraith, on being threatened by IVIacGregor, who upon his 
capture menaced him with retaliation on the person of the hostage, 
had treated the threat with great contempt, replying, ' Let each side 
hang his man ; we '11 hang the thief, and your catherans may hang 
the gauger, Rob, and the country will be rid of two damned things 
at once, a wild Highlander and a revenue officer.' Angus Breck, 
less carefully looked to than his master, contrived to escape 
from the hands of the captors, after having been in their cus- 
tody long enough to hear this discussion, and to bring off the 

" And did you learn this, you false-hearted traitor," said the wife 
of MacGregor, " and not instantly rush to your father's rescue to 
bring him off, or leave your body on the place ? " 

The young MacGregor modestly replied, by representing the 
very superior force of the enemy, and stated, that as they made no 
preparation for leaving the country, he had fallen back up the glen 
with the purpose of collecting a band sufficient to attempt a rescue 
with some tolerable chance of success. At length he said, " The 
militiamen would quarter, he understood, in the neighbouring house 
of Gartartan, or the old castle in the port of Moriteith, or some other 
stronghold, which, although strong and defensible, was nevenJicless 
capable of being surprised, could they but get enough of men 
assembled for the purpose." 

I understood afterwards that the rest of the freebooter's followers 
were divided into two strong bands, one destined to watch the 
remaining garrison of Inversnaid, a party of which, under Captain 
Thornton, had been defeated ; and another to show front to the 
Highland clans who had united with the regular troops and Low- 
landers in this hostile and combined invasion of that mountainous 
and desolate territory, which, lying between the lakes of Loch- 
Lomond, Loch-Katrine, and Loch-Ard, was at this time currently 
called Rob Roy's, or the MacGregor, country. Messengers were 
dispatched in great haste, -to concentrate, as I supposed, their 
forces, with a view to the purposed attack on the Lowlanders ; and 
the dejection and despair, at first visible on each countenance. 

ROB ROY. 307 

gave place to the hope of rescuing their leader, and to the thirst of 
vengeance. It was under the burning influence of the latter passion 
that the wife of MacGregor commanded that the hostage exchanged 
for his safety should be brought into her presence. I believe her 
sons had kept this unfortunate wretch out of her sight, for fear of 
the consequences ; but if it was so, their humane precaution only 
postponed his fate. They dragged forward at her summons a 
wretch already half dead with terror, in whose agonized features I 
recognised, to my horror and astonishment, my old acquaintance 

He fell prostrate before the female Chief with an effort to clasp 
her knees, from which she drew back, as if his touch had been pol- 
lution, so that all he could do in token of the extremity of his 
humiliation was to kiss the hem of her plaid. I never heard en- 
treaties for life poured forth with such agony of spirit. The ecstasy 
of fear was such, that instead of paralysing his tongue, as on 
ordinary occasions, it even rendered him eloquent ; and, with 
cheeks pale as ashfes, hands compressed in agony, eyes that seemed 
to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he protested, with 
the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any design on the person of 
Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honoured as his own soul. 
In the inconsistency of his terror, he said he was but the agent of 
others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh. He prayed but 
for life — for life he would give all he had in the world : it was but 
life he asked — life, if it were to be prolonged under tortures arid 
privations : he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in the 
damps of the lowest caverns of their hills. 

It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and contempt 
with which the wife of MacGregor regarded this wretched petitioner 
for the poor boon of existence. 

" I could have bid ye live," she said, " had life been to you the 
same weary and wasting burden that it is to me — that it is to every 
noble and generous mind. But you — wretch ! you could creep 
through the world unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable 
miseries, its constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow : 
you could live and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are be- 
trayed — while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of 
the brave and the long-descended : you could enjoy yourself, like 
a butcher's dog in the shambles, battening on garbage, while the 
slaughter of the oldest and best went on around you ! This enjoy- 
ment you shall not live to partake of : you shall die, base dog ! and 
that before yon cloud has passed over the sun." 

She gave a brief command in Gaelic to her attendants, two of 
whom seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the 

u 2 

3o8 ROB ROY. 

brink of a cliff which overhung the flood. He set up the mesl 
piercing and dreadful cries that fear ever uttered — I may well terni 
them dreadful, for they haunted my sleep for years afterwards. As 
the murderers, or executioners, call them as you will, dragged him 
along, he recognised me even in that moment of horror, and ex- 
claimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, " O 
Mr. Osbaldistone, save me ! — save me !" 

I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in 
momentary expectation of sharing his fate, I did attempt to speak 
in his behalf, but, as might have been expected, my interference 
was sternly disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while 
others, binding a large heavy stone in a plaid, tied it round his neck, 
and others again eagerly stripped him of some part of his dress. 
Half-naked, and thus manacled, they hurled him into the lake, 
there about twelve feet deep, with a loud halloo of vindictive 
triumph, above which, however, his last death-shriek, the yell of 
mortal agony, was distinctly heard. The heavy burden splashed 
in the dark-blue waters, and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes, 
and swords, watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself 
from the load to which he was attached, the victim might have 
struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely 
bound ; the wretched man sunk without effort ; the waters, which 
his fall had disturbed, settled calmly over him, and the unit of that 
life for which he had pleaded so strongly, was for ever withdrawn 
from the sum of human existence. 


And be he safe restored ere evening set. 

Or, if there's vengeance in an injured heart, 

And power to wreak it in an armed hand, 

Your land shall ache for 't. Old Play, 

I KNOW not why it is, that a single deed of violence and cruelty 
affects our nerves more than when these are exercised on a more 
extended scale. I had seen that day several of my brave country- 
men fall in battle — it seemed to me that they met a lot appropriate 
to humanity, and my bosom, though thrilling with interest, was 
affected with nothing of that sickening horror with which I beheld 
the unfortunate Morris put to death without resistance, and in cold 
blood. I looked at my companion, Mr. Jarvie, whose face reflected 
the feelings which were painted in mine. Indeed, he could not so 
suppress his horror, but that the words escaped him in a low and 
broken whisper, ' 

ROB ROY. 309 

" I take up my protest against this deed, as a bloody and cruel 
murder — it is a cursed deed, and God will avenge it in his due way 
and time." 

"Then you do not fear to follow?" said the virago, bending on 
him a look of death, such as that with which a hawk looks at his 
prey ere he pounces. 

" Kinswoman," said the Bailie, " nae man willingly wad cut short 
his thread of life before the end o' his pirn was fairly measured off 
on the yarn-winles — And I hae muckle to do, an I be spared, in this 
warld — public and private business, as weel that belanging to the 
magistracy as to my ain particular — and nae doubt I hae some to 
depend on me, as puir Mattie, wha is an orphan — She's a far-awa' 
cousin o' the Laird o' Limmerfield — Sae that, laying a' this the- 
gither — skin for skin, yea all that a man hath, will he give for his 

" And were I to set you at liberty," said the imperious dame, 
" what name would you give to the drowning of that Saxon dog ? " 

" Uh ! uh ! — hem ! hem ! " said the Bailie, clearing his throat as 
well as he could, "1 suld study to say as little on that score as might 
be — -least said is sunest mended." 

" But if you were called on by the courts, as you term them, of 
justice," she again demanded, "what then would be your answer? " 

The Bailie looked this way and that way, like a person who medi- 
tates an escape, and then answered in the tone of one who, seeing 
no means of accomplishing a retreat, determines to stand the brunt 
of battle — " I see what you are driving me to the wa' about. But 
I'll tell you 't plain, kinswoman, I behoved just to speak according 
to my ain conscience ; and though your ain gudeman, that I wish 
had been here for his ain sake and mine, as weel as the puir Hie- 
land creature Dougal, can tell ye that Nicol Jarvie can wink as 
hard at a friend's failings as onybody, yet I'se tell ye, kinswoman, 
mine's ne'er be the tongue to belie my thought ; and sooner than 
say that yonder puir wretch was lawfully slaughtered, I wad consent 
to be laid beside him — though I think ye are the first Hieland 
woman wad mint sic a doom to her husband's kinsman but four 
times removed." 

It is probable that the tone of firmness assumed by the BaiUe in 
his last speech was better suited to make an impression on the 
hard heart of his kinswoman than the tone of supplication he had 
hitherto assumed, as gems can be cut with steel, though they resist 
softer metals. She commanded us both to be placed before her. 
" Your name," she said to me, " is Osbaldistone ? — the dead dog, 
whose death you have witnessed, called you so." 

" My name is Osbaldistone," was my answer. 

310 ROB ROY. 

"Rashleigh, then, I suppose, is your Christian name?" she pur- 

" No ; my name is Francis." 

" But you know Rashleigh Osbaldistone ? " she continued. " He 
is your brother, if I mistake not, at least your kinsman and near 

" He is my kinsman," I replied, "but not my friend. We were 
lately engaged together in a rencoritre, when we were separated by 
a person whom I understand to be your husband. My blood is 
hardly yet dried on his sword, and the wound on my side is yet 
green. I have little reason to acknowledge him as a friend." 

" Then," she replied, " if a stranger to his intrigues, you can 
go in safety to Garschattachin and his party, without fear of being 
detained, and carry them a message from the wife of the Mac- 
Gregor ? " 

I answered, " That I knew no reasonable cause why the militia 
gentleman should detain me ; that I had no reason, on my own 
account, to fear being in their hands ; and that if my going on her 
embassy would act as a protection to my friend and servant, who 
were here prisoners, I was ready to set out directly." I took the 
opportunity to say, " That 1 had come into this country on her 
husband's invitation, and his assurance that he would aid me in 
some important matters in which I was interested ; that my com- 
panion, Mr. Jarvie, had accompanied me on the same errand." 

" And I wish Mr. Jarvie's boots had been fu' o' boiling watei 
when he drew them on for sic a purpose," interrupted the Bailie. 

" You may read your father," said Helen MacGregor, turning to 
her sons, " in what this young Saxon tells us — Wise only when the 
bonnet is on his head, and the sword is in his hand, he never 
exchanges the tartan for the broad-cloth, but he runs himself into 
the miserable intrigues of the Lowlanders, and becomes again, 
after all he has suffered, their agent — their tool — their slave." 

" Add, madam," said I, " and their benefactor." 

" Be it so," she said ; " for it is the most empty title of them all, 
since he has uniformly sown benefits to reap a harvest of the most 
foul ingratitude.— But enough of this. — I shall cause you to be 
guided to the enemy's outposts — ask for their commander, and 
deliver him this message from me, Helen MacGregor; — that if 
they injure a hair of MacGregor's head, and if they do not set him 
at liberty within the space of twelve hours, there is not a lady in 
the Lennox but shall before Christmas cry the coronach for them 
she will be loath to lose, — there is not a farmer but shall sing 
well-a-wa over a- burnt barnyard and an empty byre, — there is not 
a laird nor heritor ahall lay his head on the pillow at night with 

ROB ROY. 311 

the assurance of being a live man in the morning, — and, to begin 
as we are to end, so soon as the term is expired, I will send them 
this Glasgow Bailie, and this Saxon Captain, and all the rest of 
my prisoners, each bundled in a plaid, and chopped into as many 
pieces as there are checks in the tartan." 

As she paused in her denunciation, Captain Thornton, who was 
within hearing, added, with great coolness. " Present my compli- 
ments — Captain Thornton's, of the Royals, compliments — to the 
commanding officer, and tell him to do his duty and secure his 
prisoner, and not waste a thought upon me. If I have been fool 
enough to have been led into an ambuscade by these artful savages, 
I am wise enough to know how to die for it without disgracing the 
service. I am only sorry for my poor fellows," he said, " that have 
fallen into such butcherly hands." 

"Whisht! whisht!" exclaimed the Bailie; "are ye weary o' 
your life ? — Ye'll give my service to the commanding officer, Mr. 
Osbaldistone — Bailie Nicol Jarvie's service, a magistrate o' Glas- 
gow, as his father the deacon was before him — and tell him, here 
are a wheen honest men in great trouble, and like to come to mair ; 
and the best thing he can do for the common good, will be just to 
let Rob come his wa's up the glen, and nae mair about it. — There's 
been some ill dune here already; but as it has lighted chiefly on 
the gauger, it winna be muckle worth makin a stir aboot." 

With these very opposite injunctions from the parties chiefly in- 
terested in the success of my embassy, and with the reiterated 
charge of the wife of MacGregor to remember and detail every 
word of her injunctions, I was at length suffered to depart ; and 
Andrew Fairservice, chiefly, I believe, to get rid of his clamorous 
supplications, was permitted to attend me. Doubtful, however, 
that I might, use my horse as a means of escape from my guides, 
or desirous to retain a prize of some value, I was given to under- 
stand that I was to perform my journey on foot, escorted by 
Hamish MacGregor, the elder brother, who, with two followers, 
attended, as well to show me the way, as to reconnoitre the 
strength and position of the enemy. Dougal had been at first 
ordered on this party, but he contrived to elude the service, with 
the purpose, as we afterwards understood, of watching over Mr. 
Jarvie, whom, according to his wild principles of fidelity, he con- 
sidered as entitled to his good offices, from having once acted in 
some measure as his patron or master. 

After walking with great rapidity about an hour, we arrived at 
an eminence covered with brushwood, which gave us a command- 
ing prospect down the valley, and a full view of the post which 
the militia occupied. Being chiefly cavalry, they had judiciously 

312 ROB ROY. 

avoided any attempt to penetrate the pass which had been so un- 
successfully assayed by Captain Thornton. They had taken up 
their situation with some military skill, on a rising ground in the 
centre of the little valley of Aberfoil, through which the river Forth 
winds its earliest course, and which is formed by two ridges of 
hills, faced with barricades of limestone rock, intermixed with huge 
masses of breccia, or pebbles imbedded in some softer substance 
which had hardened around them like mortar; and surrounded 
by the more lofty mountains in the distance. These ridges, how- 
ever, left the valley of breadth enough to secure the cavalry from 
any sudden surprise by the mountaineers, and they had stationed 
sentinels and outposts at proper distances from this main body, in 
every direction, so that they might secure full time to mount and 
get under arms upon the least alarm. It was not, indeed, expected 
at that time, that Highlanders would attack cavalry in an open 
plain, though late events have shown that they may do so with 
success.* When I first knew the Highlanders, they had almost 
a superstitious dread of a mounted trooper, the horse Bejjig so 
much more fierce and imposing in his appearance than the little 
shelties of their own hills, and moreover being trained, as the 
more ignorant mountaineers believed, to fight with his feet and 
his teeth. 

The appearance of the picqueted horses, feeding in this little 
vale ; the forms of the soldiers, as they sat, stood, or walked, in 
various groups in the vicinity of the beautiful river, and of the bare 
yet romantic ranges of rock which hedge in the landscape on 
either side, formed a noble foreground ; while far to the eastward 
the eye caught a glance of the lake of Menteith ; and Stirling 
Castle, dimly seen along with the blue and distant line of the 
Ochil Mountains, closed the scene. 

After gazing on this landscape with great earnestness, young 
MacGregor intimated to me that I was to descend to the station 
of the militia and execute my errand to their commander, enjoining 
me at the same time, with a menacing gesture, neither to inform 
them who had guided me to that place, nor where I had parted 
fcom my escort. Thus tutored, I descended towards the military 
post, followed by Andrew, who, only retaining his breeches and 
stockings of the English costume, without a hat, bare-legged, with 
brogues on his feet, which Dougal had given him out of compassion, 
and having a tattered plaid to supply the want of all upper gar- 
ments, looked as if he had been. playing the part of a Highland 
Tom-of-Bedlam. We had not proceeded far before we became 
visible to one of the videttes, who, riding towards us, presented his 
carabine and commanded me to stand. I obeyed, and when the 

ROB ROY. 313 

soldier came up, desired to be conducted to his commanding- 
ofificer. I was immediately brought where a circle of officers, sitting 
upon the grass, seemed in attendance upon one of superior rank. 
He wore a cuirass of polished steel, over which were drawn the 
insignia of the ancient Order of the Thistle. My friend Gars- 
chattachin, and many other gentlemen, some in uniform, others in 
their ordinary dress, but all armed and well attended, seemed to 
receive their orders from this person of distinction. Many servants 
in rich liveries, apparently a part of his household, were also in 

Having paid to this nobleman the respect which his rank ap- 
peared to demand, I acquainted him that I had been an irivoluntary 
witness to the king's soldiers having suffered a defeat from the 
Highlanders at the pass of Loch-Ard (such I had learned was the 
name of the place where Mr. Thornton was made prisoner), and 
that the victors threatened every species of extremity to those who 
had fallen into their power, as well as to the Low Country in 
general, unless their Chief, who had that morning been made 
prisoner, were returned to them uninjured. The Duke (for he 
whom I addressed was of no lower rank) listened to me with great 
composure, and then replied, that he should be extremely sorry to 
expose the unfortunate gentlemen who had been made prisoners 
to the cruelty of the barbarians into whose hands they had fallen, 
but that it was folly to suppose that he would deliver up the very 
author of all these disorders and offences, and so encourage his 
followers in their licence. "You may return to those who sent 
you," he proceeded, " and inform them, that I shall certainly cause 
Rob Roy Campbell, whom they call MacGregor, to be executed, by 
break of day, as an outlaw taken in arms, and deserving death by 
a thousand acts of violence ; that I should be most justly held 
unworthy of my situation and commission did I act otherwise ; 
that I shall know how to protect the country against their insolent 
threats of violence ; and that if they injure a hair of the head of 
any of the unfortunate gentlemen whom an unlucky accident has 
thrown into their power, I will take such ample vengeance, that 
the very stones of their glens shall sing woe for it this hundred 
years to come ! " 

I humbly begged leave to remonstrate respecting the honourable 
mission imposed on me, and touched upon the. obvious danger 
attending it, when the noble commander replied, " that such being 
the case, I might send my servant." 

" The deil be in my feet," said Andrew, without either having 
respect to the presence in which he stood, or waiting till I replied 
• — " the deil be in my feet, if I gang my tae's length. Do the folk 

314 ROB ROY. 

thipk I hae another thrapple in my pouch after John Hielandman's 
sneckit this ane wi' his joctaleg ? or that I can dive doun at the 
tae side of a Highland loch and rise at the tother, like a shell- 
drake ? Na, na— ilk ane for himsell, and God for us a'. Folk may 
just make a page o" their ain age, and serve themsells till their 
bairns grow up, and gang their ain errands for Andrew. Rob Roy 
never came near the parish of Dreepdaily, to steal either pippin or 
pear frae me or mine." 

Silencing my follower with some difficulty, I represented to the 
Duke the great danger Captain Thornton and Mr. Jarvie would 
certainly be exposed to, and entreated he would make me the 
bearer of such modified terms as might be the means of saving 
their lives. I assured him I should decline no danger if I could 
be of service ; but from what I had heard and seen, I had little 
doubt they would be instantly murdered should the chief of the 
outlaws suffer death. 

The Duke was obviously much affected. " It was a hard case," 
he said, " and he felt it as such ; but he had a paramount duty to 
perform to the country — Rob Roy must die !" 

I own it was not without emotion that I heard this threat of 
instant death to my acquaintance Campbell, who had so often 
testified his good-will towards me. Nor was I singular in the 
feeling, for many of those around the Duke ventured to express 
themselves in his favour. " It would be more advisable," they said, 
" to 'send him to Stirling Castle, and there detain him a close 
prisoner; as a pledge for the submission and dispersion of his gang. 
It were a great pity to expose the country to be plundered, which, 
now that the long nights approached, it would be found very 
difficult to prevent, since it was impossible to guard every point, 
and the Highlanders were sure to select those that were left ex- 
posed." They added, that there was great hardship in leaving the 
unfortunate prisoners to the almost certain doom of massacre 
denounced against them, which no one doubted would be executed 
in the first burst of revenge. 

Garschattachin ventured yet farther, confiding in the honour of 
the nobleman whom he addressed, although he knew he had parti- 
cular reasons for disliking their prisoner. " Rob Roy," he ^aid, 
"though a kittle neighbour to the Low Country, and particularly 
obnoxious to his Grace, and though he maybe carried the catheran 
trade farther than ony man o' his day, was an auld-farrand carle, 
and there might be some means found of making him hear reason ; 
whereas his wife and sons were reckless fiends, without either fear 
or mercy about them, and, at the head of a' his limmer loons, would 
be a worse plague to the country than ever he had been." 

ROB ROY. 315 

" Pooh ! pooh ! " replied his Grace, " it is the very sense and 
cunning of this fellow which has so long maintained his reign — a 
mere Highland robber would have been put down in as many 
weeks as he has flourished years. His gang, without him, is no 
more to be dreaded as a permanent annoyance — it will no longer 
exist — than a wasp without its head, which may sting once perhaps, 
but is instantly crushed into annihilation." 

Garschattachin was not so easily silenced. " I am sure, my 
Lord Duke," he replied, " I have no favour for Rob, and he as 
little for me, seeing he has twice cleaned out my ain byres, besides 
skaith amang my tenants ; but, however" 

" But, however, Garschattachin," said the Duke, with a smile of 
peculiar expression, " I fancy you think such a freedom may be 
pardoned in a friend's friend, and Rob's supposed to be no enemy 
to Major Galbraith's friends over the water." 

" It it be so, my lord," said Garschattachin, in the same tone of 
jocularity, " it's no the warst thing I have heard of him. But I 
wish we heard some news from the clans, that we have waited for 
sae lang. I vow to God they'll keep a Hielandman's word wi' us — 
I never ken'd them better — it's ill drawing boots upon trews." 

" I cannot believe it," said the Duke ; " these gentlemen are 
known to be men of honour, and I must necessarily suppose they 
are to keep their appointment. Send out two more horsemen to 
look for our friends. We cannot, till their arrival, pretend to attack 
the pass where Captain Thornton has suffered himself to be sur- 
prised, and which, to my knowledge, ten men on foot might make 
good against a regiment of the best horse in Europe — Meanwhile 
let refreshments be given to the men." 

I had the benefit of this last order, the more necessary and 
acceptable, as I had tasted nothing since our hasty meal at Aberfoil 
the evening before. The videttes who had been dispatched, re- 
turned without tidings of the expected auxiliaries, and sunset was 
approaching, when a Highlander belonging to the clans whose co- 
operation was expected, appeared as the bearer of a letter, which 
he delivered to the Duke with a most profound congd 

" Now will I wad a hogshead of claret," said Garschattachin, 
" that this is a message to tell us that these cursed Highlandmen, 
whom we have fetched here at the expense of so much plague and 
vexation, are going to draw off, and leave us to do our own business 
if we can." 

" It is even so, gentlemen," said the Duke, reddening with indig- 
nation, after having perused the letter, which was written upon a 
very dirty scrap of paper, but most punctiliously addressed, " For 
the much-honoured hands of Ane High and Mighty Prince, the 


Duke, &c., &c., &c." " Our allies," continued the Duke, " have 
deserted us, gentlemen, and have made a separate peace with the 

" It's just the fate of all alliances," said Garschattachin ; " the 
Dutch were gaun to serve us the same gate, if we had not got the 
start of them at Utrecht." 

"You are facetious, sir," said the Duke, with a frown which 
showed how little he liked the pleasantry ; " but our business is 
rather of a grave cast just now. — I suppose no gentleman would 
advise our atteippting to penetrate farther into the country, unsup- 
ported either by friendly Highlanders or by infantry from Invers- 

A general answer announced that the attempt would be perfect 

" Nor would there be great wisdom," the Duke added, " in re- 
maining exposed to a night-attack in this place. I therefore pro- 
pose that we should retreat to the house of Duchray and that of 
Gartartan, and keep safe and sure watch and ward until morning.- 
But before we separate, I will examine Rob Roy before you all, and 
make you sensible, by your own eyes and ears, of the extreme un- 
fitness of leaving him space for farther outrage." He gave orders 
accordingly, and the prisoner was brought before him, his arms 
belted down above the elbow, and secured to his body by a horse- 
girth buckled tight behind him. Two non-commissioned officers 
had hold of him, one on each side, and two file of men with car- 
bines and fixed bayonets attended for additional security. 

I had never seen this man in the dress of his country, which set 
in a striking point of view the peculiarities of his form. A shock- 
head of red hair, which the hat and periwig of the Lowland costume 
had in a great measure concealed, was seen beneath the Highland 
bonnet, and verified the epithet of Roy, or Red, by which he was 
much better known in the Low Country than by any other, and is 
still,, I suppose, best remembered. The justice of the appellation 
was also vindicated by the appearance of that part of his limbs, 
from the bottom of his kilt to the top of his short hose, which the 
fashion of his country dress left bare, and which was covered with 
a fell of thick, short, red hair, especially around his knees,- which 
resembled in this respect, as well as from their sinewy appearance 
of extreme strength, the limbs of a red-coloured Highland bull. 
Upon the whole, betwixt the effect produced by the change of dress, 
and by my having become acquainted with his real and formidable 
character, his appearance had acquired to my eyes something so 
much wilder and more striking than it before presented, that I could 
scarce recognise him to be the same person. 

ROB ROY. 317 

His manner was bold, unconstrained unless by the actual bonds, 
haughty, and even dignified. He bowed to the Duke, nodded to 
Garschattachin and others, and showed some surprise at seeing me 
among the party. 

" It is long since we have met, Mr. Campbell," said the Duke. 

" It is so, my Lord Duke; I could have wished it had been" 
(looking at the fastening on his arms) " when I could have better 
paid the compliments I owe to your Grace ; — but there's a gude 
time coming." 

" No time like the time present, Mr. Campbell," answered the 
Duke, "for the hours are fast flying that must settle your last 
account with all mortal affairs. ' I do not say this to insult your 
distress ; but you must be aware yourself that you draw near the 
end of your career. I do not deny that you may sometimes have 
done less harm than others of your unhappy trade, and that you 
may occasionally have exhibited marks of talent, and even of a dis- 
position which promised better things. But you are aware how 
long you have been the terror and the oppressor of a peaceful 
neighbourhood, and by what acts of violence you have maintained 
and extended your usurped authority. You know, in short, that 
you have deserved death, and that you must prepare for it." 

" My Lord," said Rob Roy, " although I may well lay my mis- 
fortunes at your Grace's door, yet I will never say that you yourself 
have been the wilful and witting author of them. My Lord, if 
I had thought sae, your Grace would not this day have been sitting 
in judgment on me ; for you have been three times within good 
rifle distance of me when you were thinking but of the red deer, and 
few people have ken'd me miss my aim. But as for them that have 
abused your Grace's ear, and set you up against a man that was 
ance as peacefu' a man as ony in the land, and made your name the 
warrant for driving me to utter extremity, — I have had some 
amends of them, and, for a' that your Grace now says, I expect to 
live to hae mair." 

"I know," said the Duke, in rising anger, " that you are a deter- 
mined and impudent villain, who will keep his oath if he swears to 
mischief ; but it shall be my care to prevent you. You have no 
enemies but your own wicked actions." 

" Had I called myself Grahame, instead of Campbell, I might 
have heard less about them," answered Rob Roy, with dogged 

" You will do well, sir,'' said the Duke, " to warn your wife and 
family and followers, to beware how they use the gentlemen now in 
their hands, as I will requite tenfold on them, and their kin and 
alUes, the slightest injury done to any of his majesty's liege subjects." 

3i8 R03 ROY. 

"My lord," said Roy in answer, "none of my enemies will 
allege that I have been a bloodthirsty man, and were I now wi' my 
folk, I could rule four or five hundred wild Hielanders as easy as 
your Grace those eight or ten lackeys and foot-boys. But if your 
Grace is bent to take the head away from a house, ye may lay your 
account there will be misrule amang the members. — However, come 
o't what like, there's an honest man, a kinsman o' my ain, maun 
come by nae skaith. — Is there ony body here wad do a gude deed 
for MacGregor ? — he may repay it, though his hands be now tied." 

The Highlander who had delivered the letter to the Duke replied, 
" I'll do your will for you, MacGregor ; and I'll gang back up the 
glen on purpose." 

He advanced, and received from the prisoner a message to his 
wife, which, being in Gaelic, I did not understand, but I had little 
doubt it related to some measures to be taken for the safety of Mr. 

" Do you hear the fellow's impudence ? " said the Duke ; " he 
confides in his character of a messenger. His conduct is of a piece 
with his masters', who invited us to make common cause against 
these freebooters, and have deserted us so soon as the MacGregors 
have agreed to surrender the Balquidder lands they were squabbling 

' No truth in plaids, no faith in tartan trews ! . 
Cameleon-like, they change a thousand hues.'" 

" Your great ancestor never said so, my lord," answered Major 
Galbraith ; " and, with submission, neither would your Grace have 
occasion to say it, wad ye but be for beginning justice at the well- 
head — Gie the honest man his mear again — Let every head wear its 
ain bannet, and the distractions o' the Lennox wad be mended wi' 
them o' the land." 

" Hush ! hush ! Garschattachin,'' said the Duke ; " this is lan- 
guage dangerous for you to talk to any one, and especially to me ; 
but I presume you reckon yourself a privileged person. Please to 
draw off your party towards Gartartan ; 1 shall myself see the 
prisoner escorted to Duchray, and send you orders to-morrow. 
You wiU please grant no leave of absence to any of your troopers." 

" Here's auld ordering and counter-ordering," muttered Gars- 
chattachin between his teeth. " But patience ! patience ! — ^we may 
ae day play at Change seats, the king's coming." 

The two troops of cavalry now formed, and prepared to march 
off the ground, that they might avail themselves of the remainder 
of daylight to get to their evening quarters. I received an intima- 
tion, rather than an invitation, to attend the party j and I perceived, 

ROB ROY. 319 

that, though no longer considered as a prisoner, I was yet under 
some sort of suspicion. The times were indeed so dangerous, — 
the great party questions of Jacobite and Hanoverian divided the 
country so effectually, — and fhe constant disputes and jealousies 
between the Highlanders and Lowlanders, besides a number of in- 
explicable causes of feud which separated the great leading families 
in Scotland from each other, occasioned such general suspicion, 
that a solitary and unprotected stranger was almost sure to meet 
with something disagreeable in the course of his travels. 

I acquiesced, however, in my destination with the best grace 
I could, consoling myself with the hope that I might obtain from 
the captive freebooter some information concerning Rashleigh and 
his machinations. I should do myself injustice did I not add, that 
my views were not merely selfish, I was too much interested in my 
singular acquaintance not to be desirous of rendering him such 
services as his unfortunate situation might demand or admit of his 


He bent his bow and swam ; 
And when he came to grass growing, 
Set down his feet and ran. 

Gil Morrice. 

The echoes of the rocks and ravines, on either side, now rang to 
the trumpets of the cavalry, which, forming themselves into two 
distinct bodies, began to move down the valley at a slow trot. That 
commanded by Major Galbraith soon took to the right hand, and 
crossed the Forth, for the purpose of taking up the quarters assigned 
them for the night, when they were to occupy, as I understood, an 
old castle in the vicinity. They formed a lively object while cross- 
ing the stream, but were soon lost in winding up the bank on the 
opposite side, which was clothed with wood. 

We continued our march with considerable good order. To 
ensure the safe custody of the prisoner, the Duke had caused him 
to be placed on horseback behind one of his retainers, called, as 
I was informed, Ewan of Brigglands, one of the largest and strongest 
men who were present. A horse-belt, passed round the bodies of 
both, and buckled before the yeoman's breast, rendered it impos- 
sible for Rob Roy to free himself from his keeper. I was directed 
to keep close beside them, and accommodated for the purpose with 
a troop-horse. We were as closely surrounded by the soldiers as 


the width of the road would permit, and had always at least one, if 
not two, on each side with pistol in hand. Andrew Fairservice, 
furnished with a Highland pony of which they had made prey 
somewhere or other, was permitted to ride among the other do- 
mestics, of whom a great number attended the line of march, though 
without falling into the ranks of the more regularly trained troopers. 

In this manner we travelled for a certain distance, until we 
arrived at a place where we also were to cross the river. The 
Forth, as being the outlet of a lake, is of considerable depth, even 
where less important in point of width, and the descent to the ford 
was by a broken precipitous ravine, which only permitted one horse- 
man to descend at once. The rear and centre of our small body 
halting on the bank while the front files passed down in succession, 
produced a considerable delay, as is usual on such occasions, and 
even some confusion ; for a number of those riders, who made no 
proper part of the squadron, crowded to the ford without regularity, 
and made the militia cavalry, although tolerably well drilled, par- 
take in some degree of their own disorder. 

It was while we were thus huddled together on the bank that 
I heard Rob Roy whisper to the man behind whom he was placed 
on horseback, " Your father, Ewan, wadna hae carried an auld 
friend to the shambles, like a calf, for a' the Dukes in Christendom." 

Ewan returned no answer, but shrugged, as one who would 
express by that sign that what he was doing was none of his own 

" And when the MacGregors come down the glen, and ye see 
tbom faulds, a bluidy hearth-stane, and the fire flashing out between 
the rafters o' your house, ye may be thinking then, Ewan, that were 
your friend Rob to the fore, you would have had that safe which it 
will make your heart sair to lose." 

Ewan of Brigglands again shrugged and groaned, but remained 

" It 's a sair thing," continued Rob, sliding his insinuations so 
gently into Ewan's ear that they reached no other but mine, who 
certainly saw myself in no shape called upon to destroy his pro- 
spects of escape — " It 's a sair thing, that Ewan of Brigglands, 
whom Roy MacGregor has helped with hand, sword, and purse, 
suld mind a gloom from a great man, mair than a friend's life." 

Ewan seemed sorely agitated, but was silent. We heard the 
Duke's voice from the opposite bank call, " Bring over the 

Ewan put his horse in motion, and just as I heard Roy say, 
" Never weigh a MacGregor's bluid against a broken whang o' 
leather, for there will be another accounting to gie for it baith here 

ROB ROY. 321 

and hereafter," they passed me hastily, and, dashing forward rather 
precipitately, entered the water. 

" Not yet, sir — not yet," said some of the troopers to me, as I 
was about to follow, while others pressed forward into the stream. 

I saw the Duke on the other side, by the waning light, engaged 
in commanding his people to get into order, as they landed dis- 
persedly, some higher, some lower. Many had crossed, some were 
in the water, and the rest were preparing to follow, when a sudden 
splash warned me that ,MacGregoi-'s eloquence had prevailed on 
Ewan to give him freedom and a chance for life. The Duke also 
heard the sound, and instantly guessed its meaning. " Dog ! " he 
exclaimed to Ewan as he landed, " where is your prisoner ? " and, 
without waiting to hear the apology which the terrified vassal 
began to falter forth, he fired a pistol at his head, whether 
fatally I know not, and exclaimed, " Gentlemen, disperse and 
pursue the villain — An hundred guineas for him that secures 
Rob Roy!" 

All became an instant scene of the most lively confusion. Rob 
Roy, disengaged from his bonds, doubtless by Ewan's slipping the 
buckle of his belt, had dropped off at the horse's tail, and instantly 
dived, passing under the belly of the troop-horse which was on his 
left hand. But as he was obliged to come to the surface an instant 
for air, the glimpse of his tartan plaid drew the attention of the 
troopers, some of whom plunged into the river with a total disre- 
gard to their own safety, rushing, according to the expression of 
their country, through pool and stream, sometimes swimming their 
horses, sometimes losing them and struggling for their own lives. 
Others less zealous, or more prudent, broke off in different direc- 
tions, and galloped up and down the banks, to watch the places at 
which the fugitive might possibly land. The hollowing, the whoop- 
ing, the calls for aid at different points, where they saw, or con- 
ceived they saw, some vestige of him they were seeking, — the 
frequent report of pistols and carbines, fired at every object which 
excited the least suspicion, — the sight of so many horsemen riding 
about, in and out of the river, and striking with their long bioad 
swords at whatever excited their attention, joined to the vain 
exertions used by their officers to restore order and regularity ; 
and all this in so wild a scene, and visible only by the imperfect 
twilight of an autumn evening, made the most extraordinary hub- 
bub I had hitherto witnessed. I was indeed left alone to observe 
it, for our whole cavalcade had dispersed in pursuit, or at least to 
see the event of the search. Indeed, as I partly suspected at the 
time, and afterwards learned with certainty, many of those who 
seemed most active in their attempts to waylay and recover the 

322 > ROB ROY. 

fugitive, were, in actual truth, least desirous that he should be 
taken, and only joined in the cry to increase the general confusion, 
and to give Rob Roy a better opportunity of escaping. 

Escape, indeed, was not difficult for a swimmer so expert as the 
freebooter, as soon as he had eluded the first burst of pursuit. At 
one time he was closely pressed, and several blows were made 
which flashed in the water around him ; the scene much resembling 
one of the otter-hunts which I had seen at Osbaldistone-Hall, 
where the animal is detected by the hounds from his being necessi- 
tated to put his nose above the stream to vent or breathe, while he 
is enabled to elude them by getting under water again so soon as 
he has refreshed himself by respiration. MacGregor, however, 
had a trick beyond the otter ; for he contrived, when very closely 
pursued, to disengage himself unobserved from his plaid, and 
suffer it to float down the stream, where in its progress it quickly 
attracted general attention ; many of the horsemen were thus put 
upon a false scent, and several shots or stabs were averted from 
the party for whom they were designed. 

Once fairly out of view, the recovery of the prisoner became 
almost impossible, since, in so many places, the river was rendered 
inaccessible by the steepness of its banks, or the thickets of alders, 
poplars, and birch, which, overhanging its banks, prevented the' 
approach of horsemen. Errors and accidents had also happened 
among the pursuers, whose task the approaching night rendered 
every moment more hopeless. Some got themselves involved in 
the eddies of the stream, and required the assistance of their com- 
panions to save them from drowning. Others, hurt by shots or 
blows in the confused melde, implored help or threatened ven- 
geance, and in one or two instances such accidents led to actual 
strife. The trumpets, therefore, sounded the retreat, announcing 
that the commanding of&cer, with whatsoever unwillingness, had 
for the present relinquished hopes of the important prize which 
had thus unexpectedly escaped his grasp, and the troopers began 
slowly, reluctantly, and brawling with each other as they returned, 
again to assume their ranks. I could see them darkening, as they 
formed on the southern bank of the river, — whose murmurs, long 
drowned by the louder cries of vengeful pursuit, were now heard 
hoarsely mingling with the deep, discontented, and reproachful 
voices of the disappointed horsemen. 

Hitherto I had been as it were a mere spectator though far from 
an uninterested one, of the singular scene which had passed. But 
now I heard a voice suddenly exclaim, " Where is the English 
stranger ? — It was he gave Rob Roy the knife to cut the belt." 

" Cleave the pock-pudding to the chafts ! " cried one voice. 

ROB ROY. 323 

" Weize a brace of balls through his ham-pan ! " said a second. 

" Drive three inches of cauld aim into his brisket ! " shouted a 

And I heard several horses galloping to and fro, vifith the kind 
purpose, doubtless, of executing these denunciations. I was imme- 
diately awakened to the sense of my situation, and to the certainty 
that armed men, having no restraint whatever on their irritated 
and inflamed passions, would probably begin by shooting or cut- 
ting me down, and afterwards investigate the justice of the action. 
Impressed by this belief, I leaped from my horse, and turning him 
loose, plunged into a bush of alder-trees, where, considering the 
advancing obscurity of the night, I thought there was little chance 
of my being discovered. Had I been near enough to the Duke to 
have invoked his personal protection, I would have done so ; but 
he had already commenced his retreat, and I saw no officer on the 
left bank of the river, of authority sufficient to have afforded pro- 
tection, in case of my surrendering myself. I thought tjiere was 
no point of honour which could require, in such circumstances, an 
unnecessary exposure of my life. My first idea, when the tumult 
began to be appeased, and the clatter of the horses' feet was heard 
less frequently in the immediate vicinity of my hiding-place, was 
to seek out the Duke's quarters, when all should be quiet, and give 
myself up to him, as a liege subject, who had nothing to fear from 
his justice, and a stranger, who had every right to expect protection 
and hospitality. With this purpose I crept out of my hiding-place, 
and looked around me. 

The twilight had now melted nearly into darkness ; few or none 
of the troopers were left on my side of the Forth, and of those 
who were already across it, I only heard the distant trample of the 
horses' feet, and the wailing and prolonged sound of their trumpets, 
which rung through the woods to recall stragglers. Here, there- 
fore, I was left in a situation of considerable difficulty. I had no 
horse, and the deep and wheeling stream of the river, rendered 
turbid by the late tumult of which its chknnel had been the scene, 
and seeming yet more so under the doubtful influence of an im- 
perfect moonlight, had no inviting influence for a pedestrian by no 
means accustomed to wade rivers, and who had lately seen horse- 
men weltering, in this dangerous passage, up to the very saddle- 
laps. At the same time, my prospect, if I remained on the side of 
the river on which I then stood, could be no other than of con- 
cluding the various fatigues of this day and the preceding night, 
by passing that which was now closing in, alfresco on the side of a 
Highland hill. 

After a moment's reflection, I began to consider that Fairservice, 

X 2 

324 ROB ROY. 

who had doubtless crossed the river with the other domestics, 
according to his forward and impertinent custom of putting him- 
self always among the foremost, could not fail to satisfy the Duke, 
or the competent authorities, respecting my rank and situation ; 
and that, therefore, my character did not require my immediate 
appearance, at the risk of being drowned in the river — of being 
unable to trace the march of the squadron in case of my reaching the 
other side in safety — or, finally, of being cut down, right or wrong, 
by some straggler, who might think such a piece of good service a 
convenient excuse for not sooner rejoining his ranks. I therefore 
resolved to measure my steps back to the little inn, where I had 
passed the preceding night. I had nothing to apprehend from 
Rob Roy. He was now at liberty, and I was certain, in case of 
my falling in with any of his people, the news of his escape would 
ensure me protection. I might thus also show, that I had no in- 
tention to desert Mr. Jaryie in the delicate situation in which he 
had engaged himself, chiefly on my account. And lastly, it was 
only in this quarter that I could hope to learn tidings concerning 
Rashleigh and my father's papers, which had been the original 
cause of an expedition so fraught with perilous adventure. I there- 
fore abandoned all thoughts of crossing the Forth that evening ; 
and turning my back on the Fords of Frew, began to retrace my 
steps towards the little village of Aberfoil. 

A sharp frost-wind, which made itself heard and felt from time 
to time, removed the clouds of mist which might otherwise have 
slumbered till morning on the valley; and, though it could not 
totally disperse the clouds of vapour, yet threw them in confused 
and changeful masses, now hovering round the heads of the moun- 
tains, now filling, as with a dense and voluminous stream of smoke, 
the various deep gullies where masses of the composite rock, or 
breccia, tumbling in fragments from the cliffs, have rushed to the 
valley, leaving each behind its course a rent and torn ravine re- 
sembling a deserted water-course. The moon, which was now 
high and twinkled with all the vivacity of a frosty atmosphere, 
silvered the windings of the river and the peaks and precipices 
which the mist left visible, while her beams seemed as it were 
absorbed by the fleecy whiteness of the mist, where it lay thick 
and condensed ; and gave to the more light and vapoury specks, 
which were elsewhere visible, a sort of filmy transparency resem- 
bling the lightest veil of silver gauze. Despite the uncertainty of 
my situation, a view so romantic, joined to the active and inspiring 
influence of the frosty atmosphere, elevated my spirits while it 
braced my nerves. I felt an inclination to cast care away, and bid 
defiance to danger, and involuntarily whistled, by way of cadence 

ROB ROY. 32s 

to my steps, which my feeling of the cold led me to accelerate, and 
I felt the pulse of existence beat prouder and higher in proportion 
as I felt confidence in my own strength, courage, and resources. 
I was so much lost in these thoughts, and in the feelings which 
they excited, that two horsemen came up behind me without my 
hearing their approach, until one was on each side of me, when 
the left-hand rider, pulling up his horse, addressed me in the 
English tongue. " So, ho, friend ! whither so late ? " 

" To my supper and bed at Aberfoil," I replied. 

"Are the passes open ?" he inquired, with the same command- 
ing tone of voice. 

" I do not know," I repUed ; " I shall learn when I get there ; 
"but," I added, the fate of Morris recurring to my recollection, 
" If you are an English stranger, I advise you to turn back till 
daylight ; there has been some disturbance in this neighbourhood, 
and I should hesitate to say it is perfectly safe for strangers." 

" The soldiers had the worst ? — had they not ? " was the reply. 

" They had indeed ; and an officer's party were destroyed or 
made prisoners." 

" Are you sure of that ? " replied the horseman. 

" As sure as that I hear you speak," I replied. " I was an un- 
willing spectator of the skirmish." 

" Unwilling ? " continued the interrogator. " Were you not en- 
gaged in it then ? " 

" Certainly no," I replied ; " I was detained by the king's officer.'' 

" On what suspicion ? and who are you .'' or wh^t is your name ? " 
he continued. 

" I really do not know, sir," said I, " why I should answer so 
many questions to an unknown stranger. I have told you enough 
to convince you that you are going into a dangerous and distracted 
country. If you choose to proceed, it is your own affair ; but as 
I ask you no questions respecting your name and business, you will 
obhge me by making no inquiries after mine." 

" Mr. Francis Osbaldistone," said the other rider, in a voice the 
tones of which thrilled through every nerve of my body, " should 
not whistle his favourite airs when he wishes to remain undis- 

And Diana Vernon-;-for she, wrapped in a horseman's cloak, was 
the last speaker — whistled in playful mimickry the second part of 
the tune which was on my lips when they came up. 

" Good God !" I exclaimed, like one thunderstruck," can it be 
you. Miss Vernon, on such a spot— at such an hour — in such a 
lawless country — in such " 

" In such a masculine dress, you would say. — But what would 

226 ROB ROY. 

you have ? — The philosophy of the excellent Corporal Nym is the 
best after all ; things must be as they may— ^az^c^z verba'' 

While she was thus speaking, I eagerly took advantage of an un- 
usually bright gleam of moonshine, to study the appearance of her 
companion ; for it may be easily supposed, that finding Miss Vernon 
in a place so solitary, engaged in a journey so dangerous, and under 
the protection of one gentleman only, were circumstances to excite 
every feeling of jealousy, as well as surprise. The rider did not 
speak with the deep melody of Rashleigh's voice ; his tones were 
more high and commanding ; he was taller, moreover, as he sate 
on horseback, than that first-rate object of my hate and suspicion. 
Neither did the stranger's address resemble that of any of my other 
cousins ; it had that indescribable tone and manner by which we 
recognise a man of sense and breeding, even in the first few sen- 
tences he speaks. 

The object of my anxiety seemed desirous to get rid of my in- 

" Diana," he said, in a tone of mingled kindness and authority, 
" give your cousin his property, and let us not spend time here." 

Miss Vernon had in the meantime taken out a small c^se, and 
leaning down from her horse towards me, she said, in a tone in 
which an effort at her usual quaint lightness of expression contended 
with a deeper and more grave tone of sentiment, " You see, my dear 
coz, I was born to be your better angel. Rashleigh has been com- 
pelled to yield up his spoil, and had we reached this same village of 
Aberfoil last night, as we purposed, I should have found some 
Highland sylph to have wafted to you all these representatives of 
commercial wealth. But there were giants and dragons in the way ; 
and errknt-knights and damsels of modern times, bold though they 
be, must not, as of yore, run into useless danger — Do not you do so 
either, my dear coz." 

" Diana," said her companion, " let me once more warn you that 
the evening waxes late, and we are still distant from our home." 

" I am coming, sir, I am coming, — Consider," she added, with 
a sigh, "how lately I have been subjected to control — besides, 
I have not yet given my cousin the packet — and bid him farewell— 
for ever. — Yes, Frank," she said '■'■for ever ! — there is a gulf between 
us — a gulf of absolute perdition ;• — where we go, you must not 
follow — what We do, you must not share in — Farewell ! — be happy ! " 

In the attitude in which she bent from her horse, which was 
a Highland pony, her face, not perhaps altogether unwillingly, 
touched mine — She pressed my hand, while the tear that trembled 
in her eye found its way to my cheek instead of her own. It was 
a moment never to be forgotten — inexpressibly bitter, yet mixed 

ROB ROY. 327 

with a sensation of pleasure so deeply soothing and affecting, as 
at once to unlock all the flood-gates of the heart. It was but a 
moment, however ; for, instantly recovering from the feeling to 
which she had involuntarily given way, she intimated to her com- 
panion she was ready to attend him, and putting their horses to 
a brisk pace, they were soon far distant from the place where I 

Heaven knows, it was not apathy which loaded my frame and 
my tongue so much, that I could neither return Miss Vernon's half 
embrace, nor even answer her farewell. The word, though it rose 
to my tongue, seemed to choke in my throat like the fatal guilty, 
which the delinquent who makes it his plea, knows must be followed 
by the doom of death. The surprise — the sorrow, almost stupified 
me. I remained motionless with the packet in my hand, gazing 
after them, as if endeavouring to count the sparkles which flew from 
the horses' hoofs. I continued to look after even these had ceased 
to be visible, and to listen for their footsteps long after the last 
distant trampling had died in my ears. At length, tears rushed to 
my eyes, glazed as they were by the exertion of straining after what 
was no longer to be seen. I wiped them mechanically, and almost 
without being aware that they were flowing, but they came thicker 
and thicker ; I felt the tightening of the throat and breast, the 
hysterica passio of poor Lear ; and, sitting down by the wayside, 
I shed a flood of the first and most bitter tears which had flowed 
from my eyes since childhood. 


Dangle. Egad, I think the interpreter is the harder to be under- 
stood of the two. — Critic. 

I HAD scarce given vent to my feelings in this paroxysm, ere 
I was ashamed of my weakness. I remembered that I had been 
for some time endeavouring to regard , Diana Vernon, when her 
idea intruded itself on my remembrance, as a friend, for whose 
welfare I should indeed always be anxious, but with whom I could 
have little further communication. But the almost unrepressed 
tenderness of her manner, joined to the romance of our sudden 
meeting where it was so little to have been expected, were circum- 
stances which threw me entirely off my guard. I recovered, how- 
ever, sooner than might have been expected, and without giving 
myself time accurately to examine my motives, I resumed the path 
on which I had been travelling when overtaken by this strange and 
unexpected apparition. 

3i^ ROB ROY. 

" I am not," was my reflection, " transgressing her injunction so 
pathetically given, since I am but pursuing my own journey by the 
only open route. If I have succeeded in recovering my father's 
property, it still remains incumbent on me to see my Glasgow 
friend delivered from the situation in which he has involved him- 
self on my account ; besides, what other place of rest can I obtain 
for the night excepting at the little inn of Aberfoil ? They also must 
stop there, since it is impossible for travellers on horseback to go 
farther — Well, then, we shall meet again — meet for the last time 
perhaps — but I shall see and hear her — I shall learn who this 
happy man is who exercises over her the authority of a husband — 
I shall learn if there remains, in the difficult course in which she 
seems engaged, any difficulty which my efforts may remove, or 
aught that I can do to express my gratitude for her generosity — for 
her disinterested friendship." 

As I reasoned thus with myself, colouring with every plausible 
pretext which occurred to my ingenuity, my passionate desire once 
more to see and converse with my cousin, I was suddenly hailed by 
a touch on the shoulder ; and the deep voice of a Highlander, who, 
walking still faster than I, though I was proceeding at a smart pace, 
accosted me with, " A braw nicht, Maister Osbaldistone — we have 
met at the mirk hour before now." 

There was no mistaking the tone of MacGregor ; he had escaped 
the pursuit of his enemies, and was in full retreat to his own wilds 
and to his adherents. He had also contrived to arm himself, pro- 
bably at the house of some secret adherent, for he had a musket on 
his shoulder, and the usual Highland weapons by his side. To 
have found myself alone with such a character in such a situation, 
and at this late hour in the evening, might jiot have been pleasant 
to me in any ordinary mood of mind ; for, though habituated to 
think of Rob Roy in rather a friendly point of view, I will confess 
frankly that I never heard hini speak but that it seemed to thrill 
my blood. The intonation of the mountaineers gives a habitual 
depth and hoUowness to the sound of their words, owing to the 
guttural expression so common in their native language, and they 
usually speak with a good deal of emphasis. To these national 
peculiarities Rob Roy added a sort of hard indifference of accent 
and manner, expressive of a mind neither to be daunted, nor sur- 
prised, nor affected, by what passed before him, however dreadful, 
however sudden, however afflicting. Habitual danger, with un- 
bounded confidence in his own strength and sagacity, had rendered 
him indifferent to fear ; and the lawless and precarious life he led, 
had blunted, though its dangers and errors had not destroyed, his 
feelings for others. And it was to be remembered, that I had very 

ROB ROY. 329 

lately seen the followers of this man commit a cruel slaughter on 
an unarmed and suppliant individual. 

Yet such was the state of my mind, that I welcomed the company 
of the outlaw leader as a relief to my own overstrained and painful 
thoughts, and was not without hopes, that through his means I 
might obtain some clew of guidance through the maze in which my 
fate had involved me. I therefore answered his greeting cordially, 
and congratulated him on his late escape in circumstances when 
escape seemed impossible. 

" Ay," he replied, " there is as much between the craig and the 
woodie* as there is between the cup and the lip. But my peril was 
less than you raay think, being a stranger to this country. Of those 
that were summoned to take me, and to keep me, and to retake me 
again, there was a moiety, as cousin Nicol Jarvie calls it, that had 
nae will that I suld be either taen, or keepit fast, or retaen ; and of 
t'other moiety, there was ae half was feared to stir me ; and so I 
had only like the fourth part of fifty or sixty men to deal withal." 

" And enough too, I should think," replied I. 

" I dinna ken that," said he ; " but I ken, that turn every ill- 
wilier that I had amang them out upon the green before the 
Clachan of Aberfoil, I wad find them play with broadsword and 
target, one down and another come on." 

He now inquired into my adventures since we entered his country, 
and laughed heartily at my account of the battle we had in the inn, 
and at the exploits of the Bailie with the red-hot poker. 

" Let Glasgow Flourish ! " he exclaimed. " The curse of Crom- 
well on me, if I wad hae wished better sport than to see cousin 
Nicol Jarvie singe Iverach's plaid, like a sheep's head between a 
pair of tongs. But my cousin Jarvie," he added, more gravely, 
" has some gentleman's bluid in his veins, although he has been 
unhappily bred up to a peaceful and mechanical craft, which could 
not but blunt any pretty man's spirit. — Ye may estimate the reason 
why I could not receive you at the Clachan of Aberfoil, as I pur- 
posed. They had made a fine hose-net for me when I was absent 
twa or three days at Glasgow, upon the king's business — but I think 
I broke up the league about their lugs — they'll no be able to hound 
one clan against another as they hae dune. — I hope soon to see the 
day when a' Hielandmen will stand shouther to shouther. But 
what chanced next ?" 

I gave him an account of the arrival of Captain Thornton and his 
party, and the arrest of the Bailie and myself, under pretext of our 
being suspicious persons ; and upon his more special inquiry, I re- 
collected the officer had mentioned that, besides my name sounding 
suspicious in his ears, he had orders to secure an old and young 

33° ROB ROY. 

person, resembling our description. This again moved the outlaw's 

" As man lives by bread," he said, " the buzzards have mistaen 
my friend the Bailie for his Excellency, and you for Diana Vernon 
— O, the most egregious night-howlets ! " 

" Miss Vernon ?" said I, with hesitation, and trenibhng for the 
answer — " Does she still bear that name ? — She passed but now, 
along with a gentleman who seemed to use a style of authority." 

" Ay, ay," ansifrered Rob, " she's under lawfu' authority now ; 
and full time, for she was a daft hempie — But she's a mettle quean. 
It's a pity his Excellency is a thought eldern. The like o' yoursell, 
or my son Hamish, wad be mair sortable in point of years." 

Here, then, was a complete downfall of those castles of cards 
which my fancy had, in despite of my reason, so often amused her- 
self with building. Although in truth I had scarcely anything else 
to expect, since I could not suppose that Diana could be travelling 
-in such a country, at such an hour, with any but one who had a 
legal title to protect her, I did not feel the blow less severely wheh it 
came; and MacGregor's voice, urging nje to pursue my story, 
sounded in my ears without conveying any exact import to my 

" Yon are ill," he said, at length, after he had spoken twice with- 
out receiving an answer; " this day's wark has been ower muckle 
for ane doubtless unused to sic things." 

The tone of kindness in which this was spoken recalling me to 
myself, and to the necessities of my situation, I continued my 
narrative as well as I could. — Rob Roy expressed great exultation 
at the successful skirmish in the pass. 

" They say," he observed, " that king's chaff is better than other 
folk's corn ; but I think that canna be said o' king's soldiers, if they 
let themselves be beaten wi' a wheen auld carles that are past 
fighting, and bairns that are no come till't, and wives wi' their rocks 
and distaffs, the very wally-draigles o' the country-side. — And 
Dougal Gregor, too, wha wad hae thought there had been as 
muckle sense in his tatty pow, that ne'er had a better covering than 
his ain shaggy hassock of hair! — -But say away — though I dread 
what's to come neist, — for my Helen's an incarnate devil when her 
bluid's up — puir thing, she has ower muckle reason." 

I observed as much delicacy as I could in communicating to 
him the usage we had received, but I obviously saw the detail gave 
him great pain,, 

" I wad rather than a thousand merks," he said, " that I had 
been at hame ! To misguide strangers, and forbye a', my ain 
natural cousin, that had showed me sic kindness — I wad rather 

ROB ROY. 331 

they !^ad burned half the Lennox in their folly ! But this comes o' 
trusting women and their bairns, that have neither measure not 
reason in their dealings — however, it's a' owing to that dog of a 
ganger, wha betrayed me by pretending a message from your cousin 
Rashleigh, to meet him on the king's affairs, whilk I thought was 
very like to be anent Garschattachin and a party of the Lennox 
declaring themselves for King James. Faith ! but I ken'd I was 
clean beguiled when I heard the Duke was there ; and when they 
strapped the horse-girth ower my arms, I might hae judged what 
was biding me ; for I ken'd your kinsman, being, wi' pardon, a 
slippery loon himsell, is prone to employ those of his ain kidney — 
I wish he mayna hae been at the bottom o' the ploy himsell — I 
thought the chield Morris looked devilish queer when I determined 
he should remain a wad, or hostage, for my safe back-coming. But 
I am come back, nae thanks to him, or them that employed him, 
and the question is, how the collector loon is to win back himsell — 
I promise him it will not be without ransom." 

" Morris," said I, " has already paid the last ransom which mortal 
man can owe." 

"Eh ! What.'" exclaimed my companion hastily; " what d'ye 
say ? I trust it was in the skirmish he was killed ? " 

" He was slain in cold blood, after the fight was over, Mr. 

" Cold blood ? — Damnation ! " — he said, muttering betwixt his 
teeth — " How fell that, sir.' — Speak out, sir, and do not Maister 
or Campbell me — my foot is on my native heath, and my name is 
MacGregor ! " 

His passions were obviously irritated ; but, without noticing the 
rudeness of his tone, I gave him a short and distinct account of the 
death of Morris. He struck the butt of his gun with great vehe- 
mence against the ground, and broke out, " I vow to God, such a 
deed might make one forswear kin, clan, country, wife, and bairns ! 
— and yet the villain wrought long for it. And what is the differ- 
ence between warsling below the water wi' a stane about your 
neck, and wavering in the wind wi' a tether round it ? — it's but 
choking after a', and he drees the doom he ettled for me. I could 
have wished, though, they had rather putten a ball through him, 
or a dirk ; for the fashion of removing him will give rise to mony 
idle clavers — But every wight has his weird, and we maun a' dee 
when our day comes — And naebody will deny that Helen Mac- 
Gregor has deep wrongs to avenge." 

So saying, he seemed to dismiss the theme altogether from his 
mind, and proceeded to inquire how I got free from the party in 
whose hands he bad seen me. 

332 ROB ROY. 

My story was soon told ; and I added the episode of my having 
recovered the papers of my father, though I dared not trust my 
voice to name the nanje of Diana. 

" I was sure ye wad get them," said MacGregor; "the letter ye 
brought me contained his Excellency's pleasure to that effect; and 
nae doubt it was my will to have aided in it. And I asked ye up 
into this glen on the very errand. But it's like his Excellency has 
forgathered wi' Rashleigh sooner that I expected." 

The first part of this answer was what most forcibly struck 

" Was the letter I brought you, then, from this person you call 
his Excellency ? Who is he .' and what is his rank and proper 
name ? " 

" I am thinking,'' said MacGregor, " that since ye dinna ken 
them already, they canna be o' muckle consequence to you, and 
sae I shall sae naething on that score. But weel I wot the letter 
was frae his ain hand, or, having a sort of business of my ain on 
my hands, being, as ye weel may see, just as much as I can fairly 
manage, I canna say I would hae fashed my sell sae muckle about 
the matter." 

1 now recollected the lights seen in the library — the various 
circumstances which had excited my jealousy— the glove — the 
agitation of the tapestry which covered the secret passage from 
Rashleigh's apartment ; and, above all, I recollected that Diana 
retired, in order to write, as 1 then thought, the billet to which I 
was to have recourse in case of the last necessity. Her hours, 
then, were not spent in solitude, but in listening to the addresses of 
some desperate agent of Jacobitical treason, who was a secret resi- 
dent within the mansion of her uncle ! Other young women have 
sold themselves for gold, or suffered themselves to be seduced from 
their first love from vanity; but Diana had sacrificed my affections 
and her own to partake the fortunes of some desperate adventurer 
— to seek the haunts of freebooters through midnight deserts, with 
no better hopes of rank or fortune than that mimicry of both which 
the mock court of the Stewarts at St. Germains had in their power 
to bestow. 

" I will see her," I said, internally, " if it be possible, once more. 
I will argue with her as a friend — as a kinsman — on the risk she is 
incurring, and I will facilitate her retreat to France, where she may, 
with more comfort and propriety, as well as safety, abide the issue 
of the turmoils which the political trepanner, to whom she has 
united her fate, is doubtless busied in putting into motion." 

" I conclude, then," I said to MacGregor, after about five minutes' 
silence on both sides, " that his Excellency, since you give me no 

ROB ROY. 333 

Other name for him, was residing in Osbaldistone-Hall at the same 
time with myself ? " 

" To be sure — to be sure — and in the young lady's apartment, as 
best reason was." This gratuitous information was adding gall to 
bitterness. " But few," added MacGregor, " ken'd he was derned 
there, save Rashleigh and Sir Hildebrand; for you were out o' the 
question ; and the young lads haena wit eneugh to ca' the cat frae 
the cream — But it's a bra' auid-fashioned house ; and what I 
specially admire, is the abundance o' holes and bores and conceal- 
ments — ye could put twenty or thirty men in ae corner, and a 
family might live a week without finding them out — whilk, nae 
doubt, may on occasion be a special convenience. I wish^we had 
the like o' Osbaldistone-Hall on the braes o' Craig- Royston — But we 
maun gar woods and caves serve the like o'us puir Hieland bodies." 

" I suppose his Excellency," said I, " was privy to the first acci- 
dent which befell " 

I could not help hesitating a moment. 

" Ye were going to say Morris," said Rob Roy, coolly, for he was 
too much accustomed to deeds of violence for the agitation he had 
at first expressed to be of long continuance. " I used to laugh 
heartily at that reik ; but I'll hardly hae the heart to do 't again, 
since the ill-far'd accident at the Loch — Na, na, — his Excellency 
ken'd nought o' that ploy — it was a' managed atween Rashleigh 
and mysell. But the sport that came after— and Rashleigh's shift 
o' turning the suspicion aff himsell upon you, that he had nae grit 
favour to frae the beginning — and then Miss Die, she maun hae us 
sweep up a' our spiders' webs again, and set you out o' the Justice's 
claws — and then the frightened craven, Morris, that was scared out 
o' his seven senses by seeing the real man when he was charging 
the innocent stranger — and the gowk of a clerk — and the drunken 
carle of a justice — Ohon ! ohon ! — mony a laugh that job's gien me 
— and now, a' that I can do for the puir devil is to get some masses 
said for his soul." 

" May I ask," said I, " how Miss Vernon came to have so much 
influence over Rashleigh and his accomplices, as to derange your 
projected plan ? " 

" Mine ? it was none of mine. No man can say I ever laid my 
burden on other folk's shoulders — it was a' Rashleigh's doings — 
But, undoubtedly, she had great influence wi' us baith on account 
of his Excellency's affection, as weel as that she ken'd far ower 
mony secrets to be lightlied in a matter o' that kind. — Deil tak 
him," he ejaculated, by way of summing up, " that gies women 
either secret to keep or power to abuse — fules shouldna hae chap- 
ping sticks." 

33-1 ROB ROY. 

We were now within a quarteir of a mile from the village, when 
three Highlanders, springing up on us with presented arms, com- 
manded us to stand and tell our business. The single word Gre- 
garagh, in the deep and commanding voice of my companion, was 
answered by a shout, or rather yell, of joyful recognition. One, 
throwing down his fire-lock, clasped his. leader so fast round the 
knees, that he was unable to extricate himself, muttering, at the 
same time, a torrent of Gaelic gratulation, which every now and 
then rose into a sort of scream of gladness. The two others, after 
the first howling was over, set off literally with the speed of deers, 
contending which should first carry to the village, which a strong 
party of the MacGregors now occupied, the joyful news of Rob 
Roy's escape and return. The intelligence excited such shouts of 
jubilation, that the very hills rung again, and young and old, men, 
women, and children, without distinction of sex or age, came run- 
ning down the vale to meet us, with all the tumultuous speed and 
clamour of a mountain torrent. When I heard the rushing noise 
and yells of this joyful multitude approach us, I thought it a fitting 
precaution to remind MacGregor that I was a stranger, and under 
his protection. He accordingly held me fast by the hand, while 
the assemblage crowded around him with such shouts of devoted 
attachment, and joy at his return, as were really affecting ; nor did 
he extend to his followers what all eagerly sought, the grasp, namely 
of his hand, until he had made them understand that I was to be 
kindly and carefully used. 

The mandate of the Sultan of Delhi could not have been more 
promptly obeyed. Indeed, I now sustained nearly as much incon- 
venience from their well-meant attentions as formerly from their 
rudeness. They would hardly allow the friend of their leader to 
walk upon his own legs, so earnest were they in affording me support 
and assistance upon the way ; and at length, taking advantage of a 
slight stumble which I made over a stone, which the press did not 
permit me to avoid, they fairly seized upon me, and bore me in 
their arms in triumph towards Mrs. MacAlpine's. 

On arrival before her hospitable wigwam, I found power and 
popularity had its inconveniences in the Highlands, as everywhere 
else ; for, before MacGregor could be permitted to enter the house 
where he was to obtain rest and refreshment, he was obliged to 
relate the story of his escape at least a dozen times over, as I was 
told by an officious old man, who chose to translate it at least as 
often for my edification, and to whom I was in policy obliged to 
seem to pay a decent degree of attention. The audience being at- 
length satisfied, group after group departed to take their bed upon 
the heath, or in the neighbouring huts, some cursing the Duke and 


Garschattachin, some lamenting the probable danger of Ewan of 
Brigglands, incurred by his friendship to MacGregor, but all agree- 
ing that the escape of Rob Roy himself lost nothing in comparison 
with the exploit of any one of their chiefs since the days of Dougal- 
Ciar, the founder of his line. 

The friendly outlaw, now taking me by the arm, conducted me 
into the interior of the hut. My eyes roved round its smoky 
recesses in ,quest of Diana and her companion ; but they were 
nowhere to be seen, and I felt as if to make inquiries might betray 
some secret motives, which were best concealed. The only known 
countenance upon which my eyes rested, was that of the Bailie, 
who, seated on a stool by the fireside, received, with a sort of re- 
served dignity, the welcomes of Rob Roy, the apologies which he 
made for his indifferent accommodation, and his inquiries after his 

" I am pretty weel, kinsman,'' said the Bailie, " indifferent weel, 
I thank ye ; and for accommodations, ane canna expect to carry 
about the Saut-Market at his tail, as a snail does his caup ; — and 
I am blythe that ye hae gotten out o' the hands o' your unfreends." 

" Weel, weel, then," answered Roy, " what is 't ails ye, man ? — 
a's weel that ends weel ! — the warld will last our day — Come, take a 
cup o' brandy — your father the deacon could tak ane at an orra time." 

" It might be he might do sae, Robin, after fatigue— whilk has been 
my lot mair ways than ane this day. But," he continued, slowly 
filling up a little wooden stoup which might hold about three glasses, 
" he was a moderate man of his bicker, as I am mysell — Here's 
wussing health to ye, Robin," (a sip), " and your weelfare here and 
hereafter," (another taste), " and also to my cousin Helen — and to 
your twa hopefu' lads, of whom mair anon." 

So saying, he drank up the contents of the cup with great gravity 
and deliberation, while MacGregor winked aside to me, as if in 
ridicule of the air of wisdom and superior authority which the Bailie 
assumed towards him in their intercourse, and which he exercised 
when Rob was at the head of his armed clan, in full as great, or a 
greater degree, than when he was at the Bailie's mercy in the Tol- 
booth of Glasgow. It seemed to me, that MacGregor wished me, 
as a stranger, to understand, that if he submitted to the tone which 
his kinsman assumed, it was partly out of deference to the rights of 
hospitality, but still more for the jest's sake. 

As the Bailie set down his cup he recognised me, and giving me 
a cordial welcome on my return, he waived farther communication 
with me for the present. 

" I will speak to your matters anon ; I maun begin, as in reason, 
wi' those of my kinsman. — I presume, Robin, there's naebody here 

336 ROB ROY. 


will carry aught o' what I am gaun to say, to the town-counciL.or 
elsewhere, to my prejudice or to yours ? " 

"Make yourself easy on that head, cousin Nicol," answered 
MacGregor ; " the tae half o' the gillies winna ken what ye say, and 
the tother winna care — besides, that I wad stow the tongue out o' 
the head o' any o' them that suld presume to say ower again ony 
speech held wi' me in their presence." 

" Aweel, cousin, sic being the case, and Mr. Osbaldistone here 
being a prudent youth, and a safe friend — ^I'se plainly tell ye, ye are 
breeding up your family to gang an ill gate." — Then clearing his 
voice, with a preliminary hem, he addressed his kinsman, checking, 
as Malvolio proposed to do when seated in his state, his familiar 
smile wjth an austere regard of control. — " Ye ken yoursell ye haud 
light by the law — and for my cousin Helen, forbye that her recep- 
tion o' me this blessed day, whilk I excuse on account of perturba- 
tion of mind, was muckle on the north side o' friendly, I say (out- 
putting this personal reason of complaint) I hae that to say o' your 
wife " 

" Say nothing of her, kinsman," said Rob, in a grave and stern 
tone, " but what is befitting a friend to say, and her huSband to 
hear. Of me you are welcome to say your full pleasure." 

" Aweel, aweel," said the Bailie, somewhat disconcerted, " we'se 
let that be a pass-over — I dinna approve of making mischief in 
families — But here are your twa sons, Hamish and Robin, whilk 
signifies, as I'm gien to understand, James and Robert — I trust ye 
will call them sae in future — there comes nae gude o' Hamishes, 
and Eachines, and Angusses, except that they're the names ane aye 
chances to see in the indictments at the Western Circuits for cow- 
lifting, at the instance of his majesty's advocate for his majesty's 
interest — aweel, but the twa lads, as I was saying, they haena sae 
muckle as the ordinar grunds, man, of liberal education — they dinna 
ken the very multiplication-table itself, whilk is the root of a' usefu' 
knowledge, and they did naething but laugh and fleer at me when 
I tauld them my mind on their ignorance — It's my belief they can 
neither read, write, nor cipher, if sic a thing could be believed o' 
ane's ain connexions in a Christia,n land." 

" If they could, kinsman," said MacGregor, with great indiffer- 
ence, " their learning must have come o' free will, for whar the deil 
was I to get them a teacher ? — wad ye hae had me put on the gate 
o' your Divinity-Hall at Glasgow College, ' Wanted, a tutor for Rob 
Roy's bairns?'" 

" Na, kinsman," replied Mr. Jarvie, " but ye .might hae sent the 
lads whar they could hae learned the fear o' Qod, and the usages 
of civilized cteatures. They are as ignorant as the kyloes ye used 


;IJI , I 'If ' *■ ^ 

ROB ROY. 337 

to drive to market, or the very English churls that ye sauld them 
to, and can do naething whatever to purpose." 

" Umph ! " answered Rob ; " Hamish can bring douh a black- 
cock when he's on the wing wi' a single bullet, and Rob can drive 
a dirk through a twa-inch board." 

" Sae muckle the waur for them, cousin ! Sae muckle the waur 
for them baith ! " answered the Glasgow merchant in a tone of great 
decision ; " an they ken naething better than that, they had better 
no ken that neither. Tell me yoursell, Rob, what has a' this cutting, 
and stabbing, and shooting, and driving of dirks, whether through 
human flesh or fir deals, dune for yoursell ? and werena ye a hap- 
pier man at the tail o' your nowte-bestial, when ye were in an honest 
calling, than ever ye hae been since, at the head o' your Hieland 
kernes and gallyglasses ? " 

I observed that MacGregor, while his well-meaning kinsman 
spoke to him in this manner, turned and writhed his body like a 
man who indeed suffers pain, but is determined no groan shall 
escape his lips ; and I longed for an opportunity to interrupt the 
well-meant, but, as it was obvious to me, quite mistaken strain, in 
which Jarvie addressed this extraordinary person. The dialogue, 
however, came to an end without my interference. 

" And sae," said the Bailie, " I hae been thinking, Rob, that as 
it may be ye are ower deep in the black book to win a pardon, and 
ower auld to mend yoursell, that it wad be a pity to bring up twa 
hopefu' lads to sic a godless trade as your ain, and I wad blithely 
tak them for prentices at the loom, as I began mysell and my father 
Ihe deacon afore me, though, praise to the Giver, I only trade now 
as wholesale dealer — And — and " 

He saw a storm gathering on Rob's brow, which probably induced 
him to throw in, as a sweetner of an obnoxious proposition, what 
he had reserved to crown his own generosity, had it been embraced 
as an acceptable one ; — " and Robin, lad, ye needna look sae glum, 
for I'll pay the prentice-fee, and never plague ye for the thousand 
merks neither." 

" Ceade millia diaoul, hundred thousand devils ! " exclaimedRob, 
rising and striding through the hut. " My sons weavers ! — Millia 
molligheart ! but I wad see every loom in Glasgow, beam, treadles, 
and shiittles, burnt in hell-fire sooner ! " 

With some difficulty I made the Bailie, who was preparing a 
reply, comprehend the risk and impropriety of pressing our host on 
this topic, and in a minute he recovered, or reassumed, his serenity 
of temper. 

" But ye mean weel — ye mean weel," said he ; " so gie me your 
hand, Nicol, and if ever I put my sons apprentice, I will gie you 


338 ROB ROY. 

the refusal o' them. And, as you say, there's the thousand merks 
to be settled between us. — Here, Eachin MacAnaleister, bring me 
my sporran." 

The person he addressed, a tall, strong mountaineer, .who seemed 
to act as MacGregor's lieutenant, brought from some place of safety 
a large leathern pouch, such as Highlanders of rank wear before 
them when in full dress, made of the skin of the sea otter, richly 
garnished with silver ornaments and studs. 

" I advise no man to attempt opening this sporran till he has my 
secret," said Rob Roy ; and then twisting one button in one direc- 
tion, and another in another, pulling one stud upward, and pressing 
another downward, the mouth of the purse, which was bound with 
massive silver-plate, opened and gave admittance to his hand. He 
made me remark, as if to break short the subject on which Bailie 
Jarvie had spoken, that a small steel pistol was concealed within 
the purse, the trigger of which was connected with the mounting, 
and made part of the machinery, so that the weapon would cer- 
tainly be discharged, and in all probability its contents lodged in 
the person of any one, who, being 'unacquainted with the secret, 
should tamper with the lock which secured his treasure. " This," 
said he, touching the pistol — "this is the keeper of my privy 

The simplicity of the contrivance to secure a furred pouch, which 
could have been ripped open without any attempt on the spring, 
reminded me of the vferses in the Odyssey, where Ulysses, in a yet 
ruder age, is content to secure his property by casting a curious 
and involved complication of cordage around the sea-chest in which 
it was deposited. 

The Bailie put on his spectacles to examine the mechanism, and 
when he had done, returned it with a smile, and a sigh, observing, 
" Ah ! Rob, had ithw folk's purses been as weel guarded, I doubt 
if your sporran wad hae been as weel filled as it kythes to be by 
the weight." 

" Never mind, kinsman," said Rob, laughing ; " it will aye 
open for a friend's necessity, or to pay a just due — and here," 
he added, pulling out a rouleau of gold, "here is your ten 
hundred merks — count them, and see that you are full and justly 

Mr. Jarvie took the money in silence, and weighing it in his hand 
for an instant, laid it on the table, and replied, " Rob, I canna tak it 
—I downa intromit with it — ^there can nae gude come o't — I hae 
seen ower weel the day what sort of a gate your gowd is made in — 
ill-got gear ne'er prospered ; and, to be plain wi' you, I winna 
meddle wi't — it looks as there might be bluid on't" 

ROB ROY. 339 

" Troutsho ! " said the outlaw, affecting an indifference which, 
perhaps, he did not altogether feel ; " it's gude French gowd, and 
ne'er was in Scotchinan's pouch before mine — look at them, man — 
they are a' louis d'orsy bright and bonnie as the day they were 

" The waur, the waur — just gae muckle the waur, Robin," replied 
the Bailie, averting his eyes from the money, though, like Csesar 
on the Lupercal, his fingers seemed to itch for it — " Rebellion is 
waur than witchcraft, or robbery either ; there's gospel warrant 

" Never mind the waiTant, kinsman," said the freebooter ; " you 
come by the gowd honestly, and in payment Of a just debt — it came 
from the one king, you may gie it to the other, if ye like ; and it 
will just serve for a weakening of the enemy, and in the point where 
puir King James is weakest too, for, God knows, he has hands and 
hearts eneugh, but I doubt he wants the siller." 

" He'll no get mony Hielanders then, Robin," said Mr. Jarvie, 
as, again replacing his spectacles on his nose, he undid the rouleau, 
and began to count its contents. 

" Nor Lowlanders neither," said MacGregor, arching his eyebrow, 
and, as he looked at me,- directing a glance towards Mr. Jarvie, 
who, all unconscious of the ridicule, weighed each piece with habit- 
ual scrupulosity; and having told twice over the sum, which 
amounted to the discharge of his debt, principal and interest, he 
returned three pieces to buy his kinswoman a gown, as he expressed 
himself, and a brace more for the twa bairns, as he called them, 
requesting they might buy anything they liked with them except 
gunpowder. The Highlander stared at his kinsman's unexpected 
generosity, but courteously accepted his gift, which he deposited 
for the time in his well-secured pouch. 

The Bailie next produced the original bond for the debt, on the 
back of which he had written a formal discharge, which, having 
subscribed himself, he requested me to sign as a witness. I did so, 
and Bailie Jarvie was looking anxiously around for another, the 
Scottish law requiring the subscription of two witnesses to validate 
either a bond or acquittance. " You will hardly find a man that 
can write save ourselves within these three miles," said Rob, " but 
I'll settle the matter as easily ; " and, taking the paper from before 
his kinsman, he threw it in the fire. ?ailie Jarvie stared in his 
turn, but his kinsman continued, " That's a Hieland settlement of 
accounts — the time might come, cousin, were I to keep a' these 
charges and discharges, that friends might be brought into trouble 
for having dealt with me." 

The Bailie attempted no reply to this argument, and our supper 

Y 2 

340 ROB ROY. 

now appeared in a style of abundance, and even delicacy, which 
for the place, might be considered as extraordinary. The greater 
part of the provisions were cold, intimating they had been prepared 
at some distance ; and there were some bottles of good French wine 
to relish pasties of various sorts of game, as well as other dishes. 
I remarked that MacGregcr, while doing the honours of the table 
with great and anxious hospitality, prayed us to excuse the circum- 
stance that some particular dish or pasty had been infringed on 
before it was presented to us. " You must know," said he to Mr. 
Jarvie, but without looking towards me, "you are not the only 
guests this night in the MacGregor's country, whilk, doubtless, ye 
will believe, since my wife and the twa lads would otherwise have 
been maist ready to attend you, as weel beseems them." 

Bailie Jarvie looked as if he felt glad at any circumstance which 
occasioned their absence ; and I should have been entirely of his 
opinion, had it not been that the outlaw's apology seemed to imply 
they were in attendance on Diana and her companion, whom even 
in my thoughts I could not bear to designate as her husband. 

While the unpleasant ideas arising from this suggestion counter- 
acted the good effects of appetite, welcome, and good cheer, I re- 
marked that Rob Roy's attention had extended itself to providing 
us better bedding than we had enjoyed the night before. Two of 
the least fragile of the bedsteads, which stood by the wall of the 
hut, had been stuffed with heath, then in full flower, so artificially 
arranged, that, the flowers being uppermost, afforded a mattress at 
once elastic and fragrant. Cloaks, and such bedding as could be 
collected, stretched over this vegetable couch, made it both soft and 
warm. The Bailie seemed exhausted by fatigue. I resolved to 
adjourn my communication to him until next morning; and there- 
fore suffered him to betake himself to bed so soon as he had 
■finished a plentiful supper. Though tired and harassed, I did not 
myself fe.el the same disposition to sleep, but rather a restless and 
feverish anxiety, which led to some farther discourse betwixt me 
and MacGregor, 

ROB ROY. 341 


A hopeless darkness settles o'er my fate ; 
I've seen the last look of her heavenly eyes, — . 
I've heard the last sound of her blessed voice, — 
I've seen her fair form from my sight depart : 
My doom is closed. Count Basil. 

" I K.EN not what to make of you, Mr. Osbaldistone," said Mac- 
Gregor, as he pushed the flask towards me. " You eat not, you 
show no wish for rest ; and yet you drink not, though that flask of 
Bourdeaux might have come out of Sir Hildebrand's ain cellar. 
Had you been always as abstinent, you would have escaped the 
deadly hatred of your cousin Rashleigh." 

" Had I been always prudent," said I, blushing at the scene he 
recalled to my recollection, " I should have escaped a worse evil — 
the reproach of my own conscience." 

MacGregor cast a keen and somewhat fierce glance on me, as 
if to read whether the reproof, which he evidently felt, had been in- 
tentionally conveyed. He saw that I was thinking of myself, not 
of him, and turned his face towards the fire with a deep sigh. I 
followed his example, and each remained for a few minutes wrapt 
in his own painful reverie. All in the hut were now asleep, or at 
least silent, excepting ourselves. 

MacGregor first broke silence, in the tone of one who takes up 
his determination to enter on a painful subject. " My cousin Nicol' 
Jarvie means well," he said, " but he presses ower hard on the 
temper and situation of a man like me, considering what I have 
been — what I have been forced to become — and, above all, that 
which has forced me to become what I am." 

He paused; and, though feeling the delicate nature of the dis- 
cussion in which the conversation was likely to engage me, I could 
not help replying, that I did not doubt his present situation had' 
much which must be most unpleasant to his feelings. " I should 
be happy to learn," I added, " that there is an honourable chance 
of your escaping from it." 

" You speak like a boy," returned MacGregor, in a low tone that 
growled like distant thunder — " like a boy, who thinks the auld 
gnarled oak can be twisted as easily as the young sapling. Can I 
forget that I have been branded as on outlaw — stigmatized as a 
traitor — a price set on my head as if I had been a wolf — my family 
treated as the dam and cubs of the hill-fox, whom all may torment, 
vilify, degrade, and insult — the very name which came to me from 

342 ROB ROY. 

a long and noble line of martial ancestors, denounced, as if it were 
a spell to conjure up the devil with ? " 

As he went on in this manner, I, could plainly see, that, by the 
enumeration of his wrongs, he was lashing himself up into a rage, 
in order to justify in his own eyes the errors they had led him into. 
In this he perfectly succeeded; his light grey eyes contracting 
alternately and dilating their pupils, until they seemed actually to 
flash with flame, while he thrust forward and drew back his foot, 
grasped the hilt of his dirk, extended his arm, clenched his fist, and 
finally rose from his seat. 

" And they shall find," he said, in the same muttered, but deep 
tone of stifled passion, " that the name they have dared to pro- 
scribe—that the name of MacGregor — is a spell to raise the wild 
devil withal. — They shall hear of my vengeance, that would scorn 
to listen to the story of my wrongs — The miserable Highland 
drover, bankrupt, bare-footed, — stripped of all, dishonoured and 
hunted down, because the avarice of others grasped at more than 
that poor all could pay, shall burst on them in an awful change. 
They that scoffed at the grovelling worm, and trode upon him, may 
cry and howl when they see the stoop of the flying and fierj'- 
mouthed dragon. — But why do I speak of all this ?" he said, sitting 
down again, and in a, calmer tone — " Only ye may opine it frets my 
patience, Mr. Osbaldistone, to be hunted like an otter, or a sealgh, 
or a salmon upon the shallows, and that by my very friends and 
neighbours ; and to have as many sword-cuts made, and pistols 
flashed at me, as I had this day in the ford of Avondow, would try 
a saint's temper, much more a Highlander's, who are not famous 
for that gude gift,, as ye may hae heard, Mr. Osbaldistone. — But ae 
thing bides wi' me o' what Nicol said ; — I'm vexed for the bairns— 
I'm vexed when I think o' Hamish and Robert living their father's 
life." And yielding to despondence on account of his sons, wliich 
he felt not upon his own, the father rested his head upon his hand. 

I was much affected, Will. All my life long I have been more 
melted by the distress under. which a strong, proud, and powerful 
mind is compelled to give way, than by the more easily excited 
sorrows of softer dispositions. The desire of aiding him rushed 
strongly on my mind, notwithstanding the apparent difficulty, and 
even impossibihty, of the task. 

" We have extensive connexions abroad," said I : " might not 
your sons, with some assistance — and they are well entitled to what 
my father's house can give — find an honourable resource in foreign 
service ? " 

I believe my countenance showed signs of sincere emotion ; but 
my companion, taking me by the hand, as I was going to speak 

ROB ROY. 343 

farther, said, " I thank — I thank ye — but let us say nae mair o' this. 
I did not think the eye of man would again have seen a tear on 
MacGregor's eye-lash." He dashed the moisture from his long 
grey eye-lash and shaggy red eye-brow with the back of his hand. 
" To-morrow morning," he said, " we'll talk of this, and we will 
talk, too, of your affairs — for we are early starters in the dawn, even 
when we have the luck to have good beds to sleep in. Will ye not 
pledge me in a grace cup ? " I declined the invitation. 

" Then, by the soul of St. Maronoch ! I must pledge myself," 
and he poured out and swallowed at least half a quart of wine. 

I laid myself down to repose, resolving to delay my own inquiries 
until his mind should be in a more composed state. Indeed, so 
much had this singular man possessed himself of my imagination, 
that I felt it impossible to avoid watching him for some minutes 
after I had flung myself on my heath mattress to seeming rest. He 
walked up and down the hut, crossed himself from time to time, 
muttering over some Latin prayer of the Catholic church ; then 
wrapped himself in his plaid, with his naked sword on one side, 
and his pistol on the other, so disposing the folds of his mantle 
that he could start up at a moment's warning, with a weapon in 
either hand, ready for instant combat. In a few minutes his heavy 
breathing announced that he was fast asleep. Overpowered by 
fatigue, and stunned by the various unexpected and extraordinary 
scenes of the day, I, in my turn, was soon overpowered by a 
slumber deep and overwhelming, from which, notwithstanding 
every cause for watchfulness, I did not awake until the next 

When I opened my eyes, and recollected my situation, I found 
that MacGregor had already left the hut. I awakened the Bailie, 
who, after many a snort and groan, and some heavy complaints of 
the soreness of his bones, in consequence of the unwonted exer- 
tions of the preceding day, was at length able to eomprehend the 
joyful intelligence, that the assets carried off by Rashleigh Osbaldis- 
tone had been safely recovered. The instant he understood my 
meaning, he forgot all his grievances, and, bustling up in a great 
hurry, proceeded to compare the contents of the packet, which I 
put into his hands, with Mr. Owen's memorandums, muttering, as 
he went on, " Right, right— the real thing — Baillie and Whittington 
— Where's Baillie and Whittington ? — seven hundred, six, and eight 
— exact to a fraction — Pollock and Peelman— twenty-eight, seven — 
exact — Pr-aise be blest ! — Grub and Grinder — better men cannot be 
■ — three hundred and seventy — Gliblad —twenty ; I doubt Gliblad's 
ganging — Slipprytongue — Slipprytongue's gaen — but they are sma' 
sums — sma' sums — the rest 's a' right — Praise be blest ! wehave got 

344 ROB ROY. 

the Stuff, and may leave this doleful country. I shall never think 
on Loch-Ard but the thought will gar me grew again." 

"I am sorry, cousin," said MacGregor, who entered the hut 
during the last observation, " I have not been altogether in the cir- 
cumstances to make your reception sic as I could have desired — 
natheless, if you would condescend to visit my puir dwelling" ^ 

"Muckle obliged, muckle obliged," answered Mr. Jarvie, very 
hastily. " But we maun be ganging — we maun be jogging, Mr. 
Osbaldistone and me — business canna wait." 

" Aweel, kinsman," replied the Highlander, "ye ken our fashion 
— foster the guest that comes — further him that maun gang. — But 
ye cannot return by Drymen — I must set you on Loch Lomond, and 
boat ye down to the Ferry o' Balloch, and send your nags round to 
meet ye there — It's a maxim of a wise man never to return by the 
same road he came, providing another's free to him." 

" Ay, ay, Rob," said the Bailie, " that's ane o' the maxims ye 
learned when ye were a drover ; — ye caredna to face the tenants 
where your beasts had been taking a rug of their moorland grass 
in the by-ganging — and I doubt your road 's waur marked now than 
it was then." 

" The mair need not to travel it ower often, kinsman," replied 
Rob ; " but I'se send round your nags to the ferry wi' Dougal 
Gregor, wha is converted for that purpose into the Bailie's man, 
coming — not, as ye may believe, from Aberfoil or Rob Roy's 
country, but on a quiet jaunt from Stirling. — See, here he is." 

" I wadna hae ken'd the creature," said Mr. Jarvie ; nor indeed 
was it easy to recognise the wild Highlander, when he appeared 
before the door of the cottage, attired in a hat, periwig, and riding 
coat, which had once called Andrew Fairservice master, and 
mounted on the Bailie's horse, and leading mine. He received his 
last orders from his master to avoid certain places where he might 
be exposed to suspicion — to collect what intelligence he could in 
the course of his journey, and to await our coming at an appointed 
place, near the Ferry of Balloch. 

At the same time, MacGregor invited us to accompany him upon 
our own road, assuring us that we must necessarily march a few 
miles before breakfast, and recommending a dram of brandy as a 
proper introduction to the journey, in which he was pledged by the 
Bailie, who pronounced it " an unlawful and perilous habit to begin 
the day wi' spirituous liquors, except to defend the stomach (whilk 
was a tender part) against the morning mist; in whilk case his 
father the deacon had recommended a dram, by precept and 

" Very true, kinsman," replied Rob, " for which reason we, who 


are Children of the Mist, have a right to drink brandy from morning 
till night." 

The Bailie, thus refreshed, was mounted on a small Highland 
pony ; another was offered for my use, which, however, I declined ; 
and we resumed, under very different guidance and auspices, our 
journey of the preceding day. 

Our escort consisted of MacGregor, and five or six of the hand- 
somest, best armed, and most athletic mountaineers of his band, 
and whom he had generally in immediate attendance upon his own 

When we approached the pass, the scene of the skirmish of the 
preceding day, and of the still more direful deed which followed 
it, MacGregor hastened to speak, as if it were rather to what he 
knew must be necessarily passing in my mind, than to any thing 
I had said — he spoke, in short, to my thoughts, and not to my 

"You must think hardly of us, Mr. Osbaldistone, and it is not 
natural that it should be otherwise. But remember, at least, we 
have not been unprovoked — we are a rude and an ignorant, and 
it may be a violent and passionate, but we are not a cruel people 
— the land might be at peace and in law for us, did they allow us to 
enjoy the blessings of peaceful law. But we have been a persecuted 

" And persecution," said the Bailie, '' maketh wise men mad." 

" What must it do then to men like us, living as our fathers did 
a thousand years since, and possessing scarce more lights than they 
did ? — Can we view their bluidy edicts against us — their hanging, 
heading, hounding, and hunting down an ancient and honourable 
name, as deserving better treatment than that which enemies give 
to enemies ? — Here I stand, have been in twenty frays, and never 
hurt man but when I was in het bluid ; and yet they wad betray 
me and hang me like a masterless dog, at the gate of ony great 
man that has an ill will at me." 

I replied, " that the proscription of his name and family sounded 
in English ears as a very cruel and arbitrary law ; " and having 
thus far soothed him, I resumed my propositions of obtaining mili- - 
tary employment for himself, if he chose it, and his sons, in foreign 
parts. MacGregor shook me very cordially by the hand, and de- 
taining me, so as to permit Mr. Jarvie to precede us, a manoeuvre 
for which the narrowness of the road served as an excuse, he said 
to me, "You are a kind-hearted and an honourable youth, and 
understand, doubtless, that which is due to the feelings of a man of 
honour. — But the heather that I have trod upon when living, must 
bloom ower me when I am dead — my heart would sink, and my arm 

346 ROB ROY. 

would shrink and wither like fern in the frost, were I to lose sight 
of my native hills ; nor has the world a scene that would console 
me .for the loss of the rocks and cairns, wild as they are, that you 
see around us. — And Helen — what could become of her, were I to 
leave her the subject of new insult and atrocity ? — or how could she 
bear to be removed from these scenes, where the remembrance of 
her wrongs is aye sweetened by the recollection of her revenge?— I 
was once so hard put at by my Great enemy, as I may well ca' him, 
that I was forced e'en to gie way to the tide, and removed myself 
and my people and family from our dwellings in our native land, 
and to withdraw for a time into MacCallum More's country — and 
Helen made a Lament on our departure, as weel as MacRimmon * 
himsell could hae framed it — and so piteously sad and waesome, 
that our hearts amaist broke as we sate and listened to her — it was 
like the wailing of one that mourns for the mother that bore him — 
the tears came down the rough faces of -our gillies as they hearkened 
— and I wad not have the same touch of heartbreak again, no, not 
to have all the lands that ever were owned by MacGregor." 

" But your sons," 1 said, " they are at the age when your coun- 
trymen have usually no objection to see the world ? " 

" And I should be content," he replied, " that they pushed their 
fortune in the French or Spanish service, as is the wont of Scottish 
cavaliers of honour ; and last night your plan seemed feasible 
enough — But I hae seen his Excellency this morning before ye 
were up." 

" Did he then quarter so near us ? " said I, my bosom throbbing 
with anxiety. 

" Nearer than ye thought," was MacGregor^s reply ; " but he 
seemed rather in some shape to jalouse your speaking to the young 
leddy ; and so you see " 

" There was no occasion for jealousy,'' I answered, with some 
haughtiness ; " I should not have intruded on his privacy." 

"But ye must not be offended, or look out from amang your 
curls then, like a wild-cat out of an ivy-tbd, for ye are to under- 
stand that he wishes most sincere weel to you, and has proved 
it. And it's partly that whilk has set the heather on fire e'en 

" Heather on fire ?" said I. " I do not understand you." 

" Why," resumed MacGregor, " ye ken weel eneugh that women 
and gear are at the bottom-of a' the mischief in this warld. — I hae 
been misdoubting your cousin Rashleigh since ever he saw that he 
wasna to get Die Vernon for his marrow, and I think he took 
grudge at his Excellency mainly on that account. But then came 
the splore about the surrendering your papers — and we hae now 

ROB ROY. 347 

gude evidence, that, sae soon as he was compelled to yield them 
up, he rade post to Stirling, and tauld the Government all, and 
mair than all, that was gaun doucely on amang us hill-folk ; and, 
doubtless, that was the way that the country was laid to take his 
Excellency and the leddy, and to make sic an unexpected raid on 
me. And I hae as little doubt that the poor deevil Morris, whom 
he could gar believe onything, was egged on by him, and some of 
the Lowland gentry, to trepan me in the gate he tried to do. But 
if Rashlcigh Osbaldistone were baith the last and best of his name, 
and granting that he and I ever forgather again, the fiend go down 
my weasand with a bare blade at his belt, if we part before my dirk 
and his best blude are weel acquainted thegither ! " 

He pronounced the last threat with an ominous frown, and the 
appropriate gesture of his hand upon his dagger. 

'■ I should almost rejoice at what has happened," said I, " could 
I hope that Rashleigh's treachery might prove the means of pre- 
venting the explosion of the rash and desperate intrigues in which 
I have long suspected him to be a prime agent," 

" Trow ye na that," said Rob Roy ; " traitor's word never yet 
hurt honest cause. He was ower deep in our secrets, that's true ; 
and had it not been so, Stirling and Edinburgh Castles would have 
been baith in our hands by this time, or briefly hereafter, whilk is 
now scarce to be hoped for. But there are ower mony engaged, 
and far ower gude a cause to be gien up for the breath of a traitor's 
tale, and that will be seen and heard of ere it be lang. And so, as 
I was about to say, the best of my thanks to you for your offer 
anent my sons, whilk last night I had some thoughts to have em- 
braced in their behalf. But I see that this villain's treason will 
convince our great folks that they must instantly draw to a head, 
and make a blow for it, or be taen in their houses, coupled up like 
hounds, and driven up to London like the honest noblemen and 
gentlemen in the year seventeen hundred and seven. Civil war is 
like a cockatrice ; we have sitten hatching the egg that held it for 
ten years, and might hae sitten on for ten years mair, wlien in 
comes Rashleigh, and chips the shell, and out bangs the wonder 
amang us, and cries to fire and sword. Now in sic a matter I'll 
hae need o' a' the hands I can mak ; and, nae disparagement to 
the Kings of France and Spain, whom I wish very weel to. King 
James is as gude a man as ony o' them, and has the best right to 
Hamish and Rob, being his natural-born subjects." 

I easily comprehended that these words boded a general national 
convulsion ; and, as it would have been alike useless and dangerous 
to have combated the political opinions of my guide, at such a place 
and moment, I contented myself with regretting the promiscuous 

348 ROB ROY. 

scene of confusion and distress likely to arise from any general 
exertion in favour of the exiled royal family. 

" Let it come, man — let it come," answered MacGregor ; " ye 
never saw dull weather clear without a shower ; and if the world is 
turned upside down, why, honest men have the better chance to 
cut bread out of it." 

' I again attempted to bring him back to the subject of Diana ; 
but although on most occasions and subjects he used a freedom of 
speech which I had no great delight in listening to, yet upon that 
alone, which was most interesting to me, he kept a degree of scru- 
pulous reserve, and contented himself with intimating, " that he 
hoped the leddy would be soon in a quieter country than this was 
like to be for one while." I was obliged to be content with this 
answer, and to proceed in the hope that accident might, as on a 
former occasion, stand my friend, and allow me at least the sad 
gratification of bidding farewell to the object who had occupied 
such a share of my affections, so much beyond even what I 
had supposed, till I was about to be separated from her for 

We pursued the margin of the lake for about six English miles, 
through a devious and beautifully variegated path, until we attained 
a sort of Highland farm, or assembly of hamlets, near the head of 
that fine sheet of water, called, if I mistake not, Lediart, or some 
such name. Here a numerous party of MacGregor's men were 
stationed in oi'der, to receive us. The taste, as well as the eloquence 
of tribes in a savage, or, to speak more properly, in a rude state, is 
usually just, because it is unfettered by system and affectation ; and 
of this I had an example in the choice these mountaineers had made 
of a place to receive their guests. It has been said that a British 
monarch would judge well to receive the embassy of a rival power 
in the cabin of a man-of-war ; and a Highland leader acted with 
some propriety in choosing a situation where the natural objects of 
grandeur proper to his country might have their full effect on the 
minds of his guests. 

We ascended about two hundred yards from the shores of the 
lake, guided by a brawling brook, and left on the right hand four 
or five Highland huts, with patches of arable land around them, so 
small as to show that they must have been worked with the spade 
rather than the plough, cut as it were out of the surrounding copse- 
wood, and waving with crops of barley and oats. Above this limited 
space the hill became more steep ; and on its edge we descried the 
glittering arms and waving drapery of about fifty of MacGregor's 
followers. They were stationed on a spot, the recollection of which 
yet strikes me with admiration. The brook, hurling its waters 

ROB ROY. 349 

downwards from the mountain, had in this spot encountered a 
barrier rock, over which it had made its way by two distinct leaps. 
The first fall, across which a magnificent old oak, slanting out from 
the farther bank, partly extended itself as if to shroud the dusky 
stream of the cascade, might be about twelve feet high ; the broken 
waters were received in a beautiful stone basin, almost as regular 
as if hewn by a sculptor ; and after wheeling around its flinty 
margin, they made a second precipitous dash, through a dark and 
narrow chasm, at least fifty feet in depth, and from thence, in a 
hurried, but comparatively a more gentle course, escaped to join 
the lake. 

With the natural taste which belongs to mountaineers, and espe- 
cially to the Scottish Highlanders, whose feelings, I have observed, 
are often allied with the roma'ntic and poetical, Rob Roy's wife and 
followers had prepared our morning repast in a scene well calcu- 
lated to impress strangers with some feelings of awe. They are 
also naturally a grave and proud people, and, however rude in our 
estimation, carry their ideas of form and politeness to an excess 
that would appear overstrained, except from the demonstration of 
superior force which accompanies the display of it ; for it must be 
granted that the air of punctilious deference and rigid etiquette 
which would seem ridiculous in an ordinary peasant, has, like the 
salute of a corps-de-garde, a propriety when tendered by a High- 
lander completely armed. There was, accordingly, a good deal of 
formality in our approach and reception. 

The Highlanders, who had been dispersed on the side of the hill, 
drew themselves together when we came in view, and, standing 
firm and motionless, appeared in close column behind three figures, 
whom I soon recognised to be Helen MacGregor and her two sons. 
MacGregor himself arranged his attendants in the rear, and, re- 
questing Mr. Jarvie to dismount where the ascent became steep, 
advanced slowly, marshalling us forward at the head of the troop. 
As we advanced, we heard the wild notes of the bagpipes, which 
lost their natural discord from being mingled with the dashing 
sound of the cascade. When we came close, the wife of Mac- 
Gregor came forward to meet us. Her dress was studiously ar- 
ranged in a more feminine taste than it had been on the preceding 
day, but her features wore the same lofty, unbending, and resolute 
character ; and as she folded my friend the Bailie in an unexpected 
and apparently unwelcome embrace, I could perceive, by the agita- 
tion of his wig, his back, and the calves of his legs, that he felt 
much like to one who feels himself suddenly in the gripe of a she- 
bear, without being able to distinguish whether the animal is in 
kindness or in wrath. 

35° ROB ROY. 

" Kinsman," she said, " you are welcome — and you too, stranger,'' 
she added, releasing my alarmed companion, who instinctively drew 
back and settled his wig, and addressing herself to me — " you also 
are welcome. You came," she added, " to our unhappy country, 
when our bloods were chafed, and our hands were red. Excuse 
the rudeness that gave you a rough welcome, and lay it upon the 
evil times, and not upon us." All this was said with the manners 
of a princess, and in the tone and style of a court. Nor was there 
the least tincture of that vulgarity, which we naturally attach to the 
Lowland Scottish. There was a strong provincial accentuation, 
but, otherwise, the language rendered by Helen MacGregor, out of 
the native and poetical Gaelic, into English, which she had acquired 
as we do learned tongues, but had probably never heard applied to 
the[mean purposes of ordinary life, was graceful, flowing, and decla- 
matory. Her husband, who had in his time played many parts, 
used a much less elevated and emphatic dialect ; — but even his 
language rose in purity of expression, as you may have remarked, 
if I have been accurate in recording it, when the affairs which he 
discussed ,were of an agitating and important nature ; and it ap- 
pears to me in his case, and in that of some other Highlanders 
whom 1 have known, that, when familiar and facetious, they used 
the Lowland Scottish dialect, — when serious and impassioned, 
their thoughts arranged themselves in the idiom of their native 
language ; and in the latter case, as they uttered the corresponding 
ideas in English, the expressions sounded wild, elevated, and poeti- 
cal. In fact, the language of passion is almost always pure as well 
as vehement, and it is no uncommon thing to hear a Scotchman, 
when overwhelmed by a countryman with a tone of bitter and fluent 
upbraiding, reply by way of taunt to his adversary, " You have 
gotten to your English." , 

Be this as it may, the wife of MacGregor invited us to a refresh- 
ment spread out on the grass, which abounded with all the good 
things their mountains could. offer, but was clouded by the dark 
and undisturbed gravity which sat on the brow of our hostess, as 
well as by our deep and anxious recollection of what. had taken 
place on the preceding day. It was in vain that the leader exerted 
himself to excite mirth. A chill hung over our minds, as if the 
feast had been funereal ; and every bosom felt light when it was 

" Adieu, cousin," she said to Mr. Jarvie, as we rose from the 
entertainment; "the best wish Helen MacGregor can give to a 
friend is,' that he may see her no more." 

The Bailie struggled to answer, probably with, some common- 
place maxim of morality ; but the calm and melancholy sternness 

ROB ROY. 351 

of her countenance bore down and disconcerted the mechanical 
and formal importance of the magistrate. He coughed, — hemmed, 
— bowed, — and was silent. " For you, stranger," she said, " I have 
a token, from one whom you can never" 

" Helen !" interrupted MacGregor, in a loud and stern voice, 
" what means this ? — have you forgotten the charge?" 

" MacGregor," she replied, " I have forgotten nought that is 
fitting for me to remember. It is not such hands as these," and 
she stretched forth her long, sinewy, and bare arm, " that are 
fitting to convey love-tokens, were the gift connected with ought 
but misery. — Young man," she said, presenting me with a ring, 
which I well remembered as one of the few ornaments that Miss 
Vernon sometimes wore, "this comes from one whom you will 
never see more. If it is a joyless token, it is well fitted to pass 
through the hands of one to whom joy can never be known. Her 
last words were — Let him forget me for ever." 

" And can she," I said, almost without being conscious that I 
spoke, " suppose that is possible ?" 

"AU may be forgotten," said the extraordinary female who 
addressed me, —" all — but the sense of dishonour, and the desire 
of vengeance." 

" Seid suas !" ("Strike up") cried the MacGregor, stamping 
with impatience. The bagpipes sounded, and with their thrilling 
and jarring tones cut short our conference. Our leave of our 
hostess was taken by silent gestures ; and we resumed our journey, 
with an additional proof on my part, that I was beloved by 
Diana, and was separated from her for ever. 


Farewell to the land where the clouds love to rest, 

Like the shroud of the dead, on the mountain's cold breast ; 

To the cataract's roar where the eagles reply. 

And the lake her lone bosom expands to the sky. 

Our route lay through a dreary, yet romantic country, which 
the distress of my own mind prevented me from remarking parti- 
cularly, and which, therefore, I will not attempt to describe. The 
lofty peak of Ben Lomond, here the predominant monarch of the 
mountains, lay on our right hand, and served as a striking land- 
mark. I was not awakened from my apathy, until, after a long 

352 ROB ROY. 

and toilsome walk, we emerged through a pass in the hills, and 
Loch Lomond opened before us. I will spare you the attempt to 
describe what you would hardly comprehend without going to see 
it. But certainly this noble lake, boasting innumerable beautiful 
islands, of every varying form and outline which fancy can frame, — 
its northern extremity narrowing until it is lost among dusky and 
retreating mountains, — while gradually widening as it extends to the 
southward, it spreads its base around the indentures and promon- 
tories of a fair and fertile land, affords one of the most surprising, 
beautiful, and sublime spectacles in nature. The eastern side, 
peculiarly rough and rugged, was at this time the chief seat of 
MacGregor and his clan, to curb whom, a small garrison had been 
stationed in a central position betwixt Loch Lomond and another 
lake. The extreme strength of the country, however, with the 
numerous passes, marshes, caverns, and other places of conceal- 
ment or defence, made the establishment of this little fort seem 
rather an acknowledgment of the danger, than an effectual means 
of securing against it. 

On more than one occasion, as well as on that which I witnessed, 
the garrison suffered from the adventurous spirit of the outlaw and 
his followers. These advantages were never sullied by ferocity 
when he himself was in command ; for, equally good-tempered and 
sagacious, he understood well the danger of incurring unnecessary 
odium. I learned with pleasure that he had caused the captives 
of the preceding day to be liberated in safety ; and many traits of 
mercy, and even of generosity, are recorded of this remarkable 
man on similar occasions. 

A boat waited for us in a creek beneath a huge rock, manned by 
four lusty Highland rowers ; and our host took leave of us with 
great cordiality, and even affection. Betwixt him and Mr. Jarvie, 
indeed, there seemed to exist a degree of mutual regard, which 
formed a strong contrast to their different occupations and habits. 
After kissing each other very lovingly, and when they were just in 
the act of parting, the Bailie, in the fulness of his heart, and with 
a faltering vojce, assured his kinsman, " that if ever an hundred 
pund, or even twa hundred, would put him or his family in a 
settled way, he need but just send a line to the Saut-Market ;" and 
Rob, grasping his basket-hilt with one hand, and shaking Mr. 
Jarvie's heartily with the other, protested; " that if ever anybody 
should affront his kinsman, an he would but let him ken, he 
would stow his lugs out of his head, were he the best man in 

With these assurances of mutual aid and continued good-will, 
we bore away from the shore, and took our course for the south- 

ROB kus. 353 

Trestern angle of the lake, where it gives birth to the river Leven. 
Rob Roy remained for some time standing on the rock from 
beneath which we had departed, conspicuous by his long gun, 
waving tartans, and the single plume in his cap, which in those 
days denbted the Highland gentleman and soldier ; although I 
observe that the present military taste has decorated the Highland 
bonnet with a quantity of black plumage resembling that which is 
borne before funerals. At length, as the distance increased 
between us, we saw him turn and go slowly up the side of the hill, 
followed by his immediate attendants or body-guard. 

We performed our voyage for a long time in silence, interrupted 
•.nly by the Gaelic chant which one of the rowers sung in low 
irregular measure, rising occasionally into a wild chorus, in which 
the others joined. 

My own thoughts were sad enough ; yet I felt something soothing 
in the magnificent scenery with which I was surrounded ; and 
thought, in the enthusiasm of the moment, that had ray faith been 
that of Rome, I could have consented to live and die a lonely 
hermit in one of the romantic and beautiful islands amongst which 
our boat glided. 

The Bailie had also his speculations, but they were of somewhat 
a different complexion ; as I found when, after about an hour's 
silence, during which he had been mentally engaged in the calcu- 
lations necessary, he undertook to prove the possibility of draining 
the lake, and "giving to plough and harrow many hundred, ay, 
many a thousand acres, from whilk no man could get earthly gude 
e'enow, unless it were a gedd (a pike), or a dish of perch now and 

Amidst a long discussion, which he " crammed into mine ear 
against the stomach of my sense," I only remember, that it was 
part of his project to preserve a portion of the lake just deep 
enough and broad enough for the purposes of water-carriage, so 
that coal-barges and gabbards should pass as easily between 
Dumbarton and Glenfalloch as between Glasgow and Greenock. 

At length we neared our distant place of landing, adjoining to 
the ruins of an ancient castle, and just where the lake discharges 
its superfluous waters into the Leven. There we found Dougal 
with the horses. The Bailie had formed a plan with respect to 
" the creature," as well as upon the draining of the lake ; and, 
perhaps in both cases, with more regard to the utility than to the 
practical possibility of his scheme. "Dougal," he said, "ye are 
a kindly creature, and hae the sense and feeling o' what is due to 
your betters — and I'm e'en wae for you, Dougal, for it canna be 
but that in the life ye lead ye suld get a Jeddart cast ae day, suner 


354 ROB ROY. 

or later. I trust, considering my services as a magistrate, and my 
father the deacon's afore me, I hae interest eneugh in the council 
to gar them wink a wee at a waur faut than yours. Sae I hae 
been thinking, that if ye will gang back to Glasgow wi' us, being a 
stBomg-backit creature, ye might be employed in the warehouse till 
something better suld cast up." 

" Her nainsell muckle obliged till the Bailie's honour," replied 
Dougal ; " but teil be in her shanks fan she gangs on a causeway'd 
street, unless she be drawn up the Gallowgate wi' tows, as she 
was before." 

In fact, I afterwards learned that Dougal had, originally come to 
Glasgow as a prisoner, from being concerned in some depredation, 
but had somehow found such favour in the eyes of the jailor, that, 
with rather overweening confidence, he had retained him in his 
service as one of the turnkeys ; a task which Dougal had dis- 
charged with sufficient fidelity, so far as was known, until overcome 
by his clannish prejudices on the unexpected appearance of his old 

Astonished at receiving so round a refusal to so favourable an 
offer, the Bailie, turning to me, observed, that the " creature was a 
natural-born idiot." I testified my own gratitude in a way which 
Dougal much better relished, by slipping a couple of guineas into 
his hand. He no sooner felt the touch of the gold, than he sprung 
twice or thrice from the earth with the agility of a wild buck, 
flinging out first one heel and then another, in a manner which 
would have astonished a French dancing-master. He ran to the 
boatmen to show them the prize, and a small gratuity made them 
take part in his raptures. He then, to use a favourite expression 
of the dramatic John Bunyan, " went on his way, and I saw him 
no more." 

The Bailie and I mounted our horses, and proceeded on the 
road to Glasgow. When we had lost the view of the lake, and its 
superb amphitheatre of mountains, I could not help expressing, 
with enthusiasm, my sense of its natural beauties, although I was 
conscious that Mr. Jarvie was a very uncongenial spirit to commu- 
nicate with on such a subject. 

"Ye are a young gentleman," he replied, "and an Englishman, 
and a' this may be very fine to you ; but for me, wha am a plain 
man, and ken something o' the different values of land, I wadna 
giie the finest sight we hae seen in the Hielands, for the first keek 
o' the Gorbals o' Glasgow ; and if I were ance there, it suldna be 
every fule's errand, begging your pardon, Mr. Francis, that suld 
take me out o' sight o' Saint Mungo's steeple again ! " 

The honest man had his wish ; for, by dint of travelling very 


late, we arrived, at his own house that night, or rather on the suc- 
ceeding morning. Having seen my worthy fellow-traveller safely 
consigned to the charge of the considerate and officious Mattie, I 
proceeded to Mrs. Flyter's, in whose house, even at this unwonted 
hour, light was still burning. The door was opened by no less a 
person than Andrew Fairservice himself, who, upon the first sound 
of my voice, set up a loud shout of joyful recognition, and without 
uttering a syllable, ran up stairs towards a parlour on the second 
floor, from the windows of which the light proceeded. Justly con- 
ceiving that he went to announce my return to the anxious Owen, 
I followed him upon the foot. Owen was not alone, — there was 
another in the apartment, — it was my father. 

The first impulse was to preserve the dignity of his usual equa- 
nimity, — " Francis, I am glad to see you." — The next was to em- 
brace me tenderly, — " My dear — dear son ! " — Owen secured one of 
my hands, and wetted it with his tears, while he joined in gratulating 
my return. These are scenes which address themselves to the eye 
and to the heart rather than to the ear. — My old eyelids still 
moisten at the recollection of our meeting ; but your kind and 
affectionate feelings can well imagine what I should find it impos- 
sible to describe. 

When the tumult of our joy was over, I learnt that my father 
had arrived from Holland shortly after Owen had set off for Scot- 
land. Determined and rapid in all his movements, he only 
stopped to provide the means of discharging the obligations in- 
cumbent on his house. By his extensive resources, with funds 
enlarged, and credit fortified, by eminent suhcess in his continental 
speculation, he easily accomplished wliat perhaps his absence 
alone rendered difficult, and set out for Scotland to exact justice 
from Rashleigh Osbaldistone, as well as to put order to his affairs 
in that country. My father's arrival in full credit, and with the 
ample means of supporting his engagements honourably, as well 
as benefiting his correspondents in future, was a stunning blow to 
MacVittie and Company, who had conceived his star set for ever. 
Highly incensed at the usage his confidential clerk and agent had 
received at their hands, Mr. Osbaldistone refused every tender of 
apology and accommodation ; and, having settled the balance of 
their account, announced to them that, with all its numerous con- 
tingent advantages, that leaf of their ledger was closed for ever. 

While he enjoyed this triumph over Mse friends, he was not a 
little alarmed on my account. Owen, good man, had aot supposed ^ 
it possible that a journey of fifty or sixty miles, which may be 
made with so much ease and safety in any direction from Londoii, 
could be attended with atiy particular danger. But he caught 


alarm, by sympathy, from my father, to whom the country, and the 
lawless character of its inhabitants, were better known. 

These apprehensions were raised to agony, when, a few hours 
before I arrived, Andrew Fairservice made his appearance, with a 
dismal and exaggerated account of the uncertain state in which he 
had left me. The nobleman with whose troops he had been a sort 
of prisoner, had, after examination, not only dismissed him, but 
furnished him with the means of returning rapidly to Glasgow, in 
order to announce to my friends my precarious and unpleasant 

Andrew was one of those persons who have no objection to the 
sort of temporary attention and woful importance which attaches 
itself to the bearer of bad tidings, and had therefore by no means 
smoothed down his tale in the telling, especially as the rich 
London merchant himself proved unexpectedly one of the auditors. 
He went at great length into an account of the dangers I had 
escaped, chiefly, as he insinuated, by means of his own experience, 
exertion, and sagacity. 

" What was to come of me now, when my better angel, in his 
(Andrew's) person, was removed from my side, it was," he said, 
" sad and sair to conjecture ; that the Bailie was nae better than 
just naebody at a pinch, or something waur, for he was a conceited 
body^and Andrew hated conceit — but certainly, atween the pistols 
and the carabines of the troopers, that rappit aff the tane after the 
tother as fast as hail, and the dirks and claymores o' the Hie- 
landers, and the deep waters and weils o' the Avondow, it was to 
be thought there wad be a puir account of the young gentleman." 

This statement would have driven Owen to despair, had he been 
alone and unsupported ; but my father's perfect knowledge of man- 
kind enabled him easily to appreciate the character of Andrew, 
and the real amount of his intelligence. Stripped of all exaggera- 
tion, however, it was alarming enough to a parent. He determined 
to set out in person to obtain my liberty by ransom or negotiation, 
and was busied with Owen till a late hour, in order to get through 
some necessary correspondence, and devolve on the latter some 
business which should be transacted during his absence ; and thus 
it chanced that I found them watchers. 

It was late ere we separated to rest, and, too impatient long to 
endure repose, I was stirring early the next morning. Andrew 
gave his attendance at my levee, as in duty bound, and, instead of 
the scarecrow figure to which he had been reduced at Aberfoil^ 
now appeared in the attire of an undertaker, a goodlv suit, namely, 
of the deepest mourning. It was not till after on» -or two queries, 
wfflch the rascal affected as long as he could to misunderstand, 

ROB ROY. 357 

that I found out he " had thought it but decent to put on mourn, 
ing, on account of my inexpressible loss ; and as the broker at 
whose shop he had equipped himself, declined to receive the goods 
again, and as his own garments had been destroyed or carried off 
in my honour's service, doubtless I and my honourable father, 
whom Providence had blessed wi' the means, wadna suffer a puir 
lad to sit down wi' the loss ; a stand o' claes was nae great matter 
to an Osbaldistone (be praised for 't !) especially to an auld and 
attached servant o' the house." 

As there was something of justice in Andrew's plea of loss in my 
service, his finesse succeeded ; and he came by a good suit of 
mourning, with a beaver and all things conforming, as the exterior 
signs of woe for a master who was alive and merry. 

My father's first care, when he arose, was to visit Mr. Jarvie, for 
whose kindness he entertained the most grateful se